Medical Examiner Program

The Medical Examiner brings trained medical evaluation to the investigation of deaths that are of concern to the public health, safety, and welfare of the community. Accurate investigation and determination of cause and manner of death are essential to our society for the following reasons:

  • The innocent shall be exonerated
  • Murder shall be recognized
  • Criminal and civil court proceedings will be provided with documented, sound, and impartial medical evidence
  • Unrecognized hazards to public health shall be revealed
  • Industrial hazards shall be exposed

Reported Deaths

Under Michigan law, deaths are reported to the Medical Examiner in the following circumstances:

  • Unexpected infant deaths
  • Deaths while in custody
  • Deaths resulting from abortion
  • Found bodies
  • Deaths in the workplace
  • Deaths during medical procedures, whether diagnostic or therapeutic, in any location, if the reason for the procedure is to treat an injury or if the death is unexpected and/or results from the procedure itself

Deaths which should be reported to the Medical Examiner include:

  • All those which result, either directly or indirectly from injury, whether by accident or intended, self‑inflicted or caused by another person. Injury includes poisoning and drug ingestion or injection. The interval (passage of time) between the injury and the death, whether it be minutes or months, does not change the requirement for reporting the death.
  • Unexpected and unexplained deaths of persons presumed to have been in good health or for whom no history of serious medical problems or progressive primary disease is known should also be reported to the Medical Examiner.

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