Iowa office of the state medical examiner

Are medical examiner reports public?

How do I obtain a copy of medical examiner reports ? All reports generated by the medical examiner ( Medical Examiner’s Report , Autopsy Report , and Toxicology Report ) are available to the legal next of kin upon written request.

Are autopsy reports public record in Iowa?

Who can obtain copies of the autopsy report and death certificate? The cause and manner of death is a matter of public record and can be released, unless release of such information will hinder or harm an ongoing criminal investigation [ Iowa Code 22.7(41)].

Are autopsies required in Iowa?

127.3(1) Autopsy required . A county medical examiner shall perform an autopsy or order that an autopsy be performed in the following cases: a. All cases of homicide or suspected homicide, irrespective of the period of survival following injury.

How do I find public autopsy reports?

View the autopsy in person. Check the website of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in your state for more information. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will have most of the information that you need to request an autopsy report .

Can I obtain a coroner’s report?

The Coroner or Coroner’s Officer will give you the cause of death found by the pathologist at a coroner’s post mortem examination. If you want a written copy of the full report you need to ask the coroner’s officer or to write to the Coroner concerned and they may charge a fee.

Does an autopsy report include pictures?

Autopsy photos , video, or audio are not public records, but may be examined at reasonable times and under reasonable supervision. “ Autopsy report ” is confidential, while “ report of death” is not. The latter is the face page of the report , indicating the decedent and the cause and manner of death.

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Who determines if an autopsy is needed?

An autopsy may be ordered by the coroner or medical examiner to determine the cause or manner of death, or to recover potential evidence such as a bullet or alcohol content in the blood. Policy varies across the United States but typically unwitnessed, tragic, or suspicious deaths require an autopsy.

What does an autopsy report look like?

The autopsy report will include the pathologist’s detailed findings, with results of any tests that were performed and observations made during the procedure. If it was possible for the pathologist to determine the cause of death conclusively, this will be specified in the report .

How do you write a letter requesting an autopsy report?

Indicate in the same letter , the name of the deceased and date of death. Indicate that you are requesting the autopsy report and would like one copy. Include the mailing address of where the autopsy report should be sent. Sign and date the letter .

How long does an autopsy take after death?

Autopsies usually take two to four hours to perform. Preliminary results can be released within 24 hours, but the full results of an autopsy may take up to six weeks to prepare.

Is an autopsy public information?

This document is public and available to anyone who requests it. Autopsy reports are appended to the coroner’s report. Other appended documents include the toxicology report, the medical record and the police report. Coroners use these documents to produce their reports.

Why perform an autopsy when the cause of death is obvious?

Why is a forensic autopsy necessary if the cause of death seems obvious , such as a gunshot wound? Answer: A complete autopsy examination can help determine details necessary for determining the manner of death and provide information that may need to be presented in court.

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How long does it take to get a coroner’s report?

The coroner may order further investigations to help establish identity and cause of death. The forensic pathologist will provide a Medical Examination Report to the coroner . This report may take up to several months, but sometimes longer.

How can I get a free autopsy?

Sometimes the hospital where the patient died will perform an autopsy free of charge to the family or at the request of the doctor treating the patient. However, not all hospitals provide this service. Check with the individual hospital as to their policies.

How do you get an autopsy done?

You can request an autopsy if you are the person’s next of kin or are the legally responsible party. You will need to sign a consent form to give permission for the autopsy . Reasons you may ask for an autopsy include: Doctors can’t tell you why the person died.

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