Why is the Office of the Medical Examiner involved?

Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) §11-593 requires that the following deaths be reported to the Office of the Medical Examiner:

•Death when not under the current care of a health care provider as defined pursuant to section §36-301. •Death resulting from violence. •Unexpected or unexplained death. •Death of a person in a custodial agency as defined in section §13-4401. •Unexpected or unexplained death of an infant or child. •Death occurring in a suspicious, unusual or non-natural manner, including death from an accident believed to be related to the deceased person's occupation or employment. •Death occurring as a result of anesthetic or surgical procedures. •Death suspected to be caused by a previously unreported or undiagnosed disease that constitutes a threat to public safety. •Death involving unidentifiable bodies.

It is up to the Medical Examiner to determine if a case meets jurisdictional requirements to further investigate and certify the cause and manner of death on the death certificate.

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1. Print a PDF version of the Information for Next of Kin pamphlet:
2. Imprima una versión en PDF del folleto Información para los parientes más cercanos:
3. Why is the Office of the Medical Examiner involved?
4. Why is the death being investigated?
5. How are bodies transported for examination, and where?
6. What types of exams are performed?
7. What if I do not want an autopsy of my family member?
8. Can I request an autopsy of my family member?
9. Is an open casket viewing possible after an autopsy has been completed?
10. How is the time of death determined?
11. What is toxicology testing?
12. How is identification confirmed?
13. Can I request a viewing of my family member?
14. What is the process for the release of my family member?
15. If I cannot select a funeral home or mortuary will the Office of the Medical Examiner provide one?
16. How do I receive my family member's personal effects?
17. How quickly will cause and manner of death be determined?
18. What is in the Medical Examiner Report and how do I obtain a copy?
19. How do I receive death benefits if the cause and manner of death is pending?
20. How do I obtain a copy of the Death Certificate?
21. I still have questions or need assistance regarding the death of a loved one. Who can help me?