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Coroner Information

1. What is the cost of an autopsy?

2. What is the cost to transport a body?

3. Who is responsible to arrange for body transport?

4. What do I do with the body prior to transport?

5. What is ultimately done with the clothing and personal effects?

6. Are there any forms needed for an autopsy?

7. Why do all cases need the Request for Examination/Autopsy form?

8. Do infant deaths require additional paperwork?

9. Who designed the Infant Death Investigation Protocol?

10. What deaths are to be reported to the county coroner or forensic examiner?

11. What type of death should be referred to the State Forensic Examiner for examinations or autopsy?

12. Are your files confidential?

13. Who has access to an autopsy report?

14. How do I request a copy of the autopsy report?

 

What is the cost of an autopsy?

The cost of the actual autopsy, toxicological analyses, and any ancillary studies necessary to make an accurate determination of an individual's cause and manner of death are borne by the state of North Dakota.
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What is the cost to transport a body?

The expenses incurred in the transportation of bodies to the office in Bismarck are borne by the county making the referral.
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Who is responsible to arrange for body transport?

The county coroner with jurisdiction of the body is responsible for arranging body transportation.
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What do I do with the body prior to transport?

The body should not be embalmed.  Clothing, personal effects, and any medical interventions should remain on the body.  The body must be in an intact body bag with proper identifying tags attached to the body and body bag for admission to the morgue.  The body should be refrigerated prior to transport if possible.  It is also important to remember any safety equipment or items that aided in the death of the individual (like a ligature or plastic bag), be left in place for examination by the medical examiner.
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What is ultimately done with the clothing and personal effects?

The clothing and personal effects are removed and inventoried at the time of autopsy.  These items may be retained as evidence by law enforcement.  If no evidence is retained, the clothing and personal effects are released with the body.
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Are there any forms needed for an autopsy?

Yes, for all autopsies a Request for Examination/Autopsy form is required.
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Why do all cases need the Request for Examination/Autopsy form?

It provides investigative information which may be used, in addition to the autopsy, in determining the cause and manner of death.
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Do infant deaths require additional paperwork?

Yes, a completed Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Form should accompany or follow infant death referrals.  These may be sent by fax or mail.
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Who designed the Infant Death Investigation Protocol?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designed the protocol to provide the medical examiner/pathologist with a comprehensive understanding of the child's medical history, environmental setting, and the circumstances of his/her death.
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What deaths are to be reported to the county coroner or forensic examiner?

The coroner or any person acting as coroner shall report to the State Forensic Examiner, in writing, every death where in the coroner is notified or investigates.  These reports may be sent by mail or faxed a t the coroner's convenience.  Reported deaths should use the coroner's investigation form.
Please see the web page Reported Deaths.

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What type of deaths should be referred to the North Dakota State Forensic Examiner for examinations or autopsy?

Please see the web page Recommended Referarals.
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Are your files confidential?

Yes, the county coroner files are considered confidential.  The only exception to this confidentiality is the Report of Death document.  This document is generated by the State Forensic Examiner and accompanies all Autopsy Reports.  This Report of Death is a public record subject to disclosure under section 44-04-18 of the North Dakota Century Code.
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Who has access to an autopsy report?

Please see the web page Disclosure of Autopsy Reports.
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How do I request a copy of the autopsy report?

You must meet a requirement from above, and the request must be made in writing.  The written request must include the decedent's full name, date of birth, date of death, your name and relationship to the decedent, and an address where the report needs to be sent.
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