The most common goals of medical examiner are to determine the cause of death.
Duties and Responsibilities
Medical Examiners are more commonly known for investigating deaths due to criminal circumstances but they also probe into deaths that resulted from accidents and suicides. In addition, they examine natural deaths of persons who were not under a physicians care or who died under suspicious or unusual circumstances. They are responsible in investigating cases of persons who died of a communicable disease that has the potential to become a health threat to the general public. Furthermore, they are required by law to examine the deaths of individuals who are in police custody or in jail, prison, or another correctional facility.
Medical Examiners also perform other duties, depending on their position, expertise, and skill level, and these are:
- They follow certain procedures and protocols for performing postmortem examinations, which involve external or internal examinations of the dead body.
- They must be knowledgeable about forensic principles, practices, procedures, and techniques for handling, examining, and identifying physical evidence that pertains to criminal investigations.
- Directing or getting involved in major or complicated crime scene.
- Ensuring consistent application and interpretation of policies, rules, laws and procedures.
- Ensuring professional and proper preparation of presentation and court displays of evidence.
- Preparing or reviewing reports, correspondence, and many other documents.
- Working with some other departmental groups, other agencies, federal agencies.
- Providing expert guidance, instructions, information to system users, staff and many others regarding forensic science.
- Provide data and statistical information to news media, community agencies, social agencies, the general public, and others.
- Perform administrative duties such as preparing budgets; developing office policies and operational procedures; and maintaining accurate and complete investigative records and reports.
- Testify in courts as expert witnesses.
- Supervise and train subordinate staff members.