Office of State Medical Examiners, Center for


To determine both the cause and manner of death through thorough investigation of the medical records, witness interviews, law enforcement records, inspection of the scene of death, and in some circumstances an autopsy.

What We Do

  • Assume jurisdiction over deaths due to or suspected of being due to:
    • Infectious disease or suspected infectious diseases that may represent a bio-terrorism event or emerging infection;
    • Natural, nuclear, biological, chemical or other mass casualty event;
    • Homicidal, suicidal, accidental or undetermined causes related to the mass casualty.
  • Work in conjunction with investigating agencies, federal agencies and other ancillary personnel, and the family assistance center to:
    • Recover and identify the decedents;
    • Screen deaths for public health significance and determine the cause of death;
    • Notify and support families;
    • Issue death certificates and certify death certificates prior to cremation;
    • Approve organ/tissue for donation or transplant for cases under the office's jurisdiction;
    • Refer health professionals to the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline;
    • Testify in court regarding the cause and manner of death;
    • Perform epidemiological studies related to the cause of death.