Medical Examiner

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Medical Examiner

A public official charged with investigating all sudden, suspicious, unexplained, or unnatural deaths within the area of his or her appointed jurisdiction. A medical examiner differs from a Coroner in that a medical examiner is a physician. Medical examiners have replaced coroners in most states and jurisdictions.

Medical examiners determine such things as the positive identification of a corpse, the time of death, whether death occurred at the location where the corpse was found, and the manner and cause of death. They conduct autopsies and other medical tests to determine any or all of the details of death. They often work in conjunction with a legal team, such as a state prosecutor's office, and will testify at trial as to their findings and determinations. In that regard, a medical examiner's testimony is that of an expert witness, subject to cross-examination by counsel or refutation by the testimony of other expert witnesses.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Obviously samples taken from bite wounds on the victim will include the victim's DNA," responded the medical examiner.
(5.) Nolte KB, Fischer M, Reagan S, Lynfield R; Members of the National Association of Medical Examiners Ad Hoc Committee for Bioterrorism and Infectious Disease.
In order to protect the physician under these circumstances, the Medical Examiner will fax a specific order to the physician, which may be placed in the decedent's medical chart to document the transaction, and provide proof of civil immunity.
Then there's the disgraced Texas medical examiner Ralph Erdmann.
Although the book is not sensationalistic, it might still prompt uncomfortable moments for some readers such as when, immediately prior to cutting open a corpse that had been immersed in a pond, a medical examiner casually advises Timmermans: "If something jumps out, kill it." As the parent of a young child, I flinched at the details of a medical examiner sawing out the rib cage of an infant who had died in a suspected case of child abuse, and then twisting and torturing the bones in search of previous fractures.
In 1971, a data retrieval system that permitted ready sorting of demographic, circumstantial, and postmortem findings was installed at the District of Columbia medical examiner's office.
As for the bone fragments, a spokesperson for the city's medical examiner told the Associated Press that the office will use a database to try and match the new fragments to any of the 2,749 people who died at the trade center.
Officers must recognize these indicators and then articulate them to the medical examiner. Presently, no known and proven pathological test exists to determine drowning as the cause of death, so, by itself, an autopsy usually proves insufficient.
NYC medical examiner Laurie Montgomery is the first to see a pattern.
'A Faint Cold Fear' continues the storyline she previously started with medical examiner Sara Linton.

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