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Coroner/Medical Examiner Laws, by State

A medicolegal investigation is conducted by a coroner’s or medical examiner’s office to determine the circumstances under which someone died. Medicolegal investigations combine a scientific inquiry into a death under a coroner’s or medical examiner’s legal jurisdiction.

At the request of the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC’s Public Health Law Program assessed coroner and medical examiner laws across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each state sets its own standards for what kinds of deaths require investigation and its own professional and continuing education requirements for individuals carrying out these investigations. These different standards can have a broad-reaching public health impact as variations in the collection and reporting of cause-of-death data could hinder public health officials’ ability to conduct accurate mortality surveillance.

The map below lead to profiles of each state’s coroner and/or medical examiner death investigation laws. Published January 15, 2015.

The site also has additional information about the following:

Disclaimer: Information available on this website that was not developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not necessarily represent any CDC policy, position, or endorsement of that information or of its sources. The information contained on this website is not legal advice; if you have questions about a specific law or its application you should consult your legal counsel.

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