TITLE 23
Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-4
Office of State Medical Examiners

SECTION 23-4-3


§ 23-4-3 Functions.

The office of state medical examiners shall be responsible for:

(1) The investigation of deaths within the state that, in its judgment, might reasonably be expected to involve causes of death enumerated in this chapter;

(2) For the conduct of inquests when requested by the attorney general;

(3) For the performance of autopsies, including the retention, examination, and appropriate disposal of tissue, when appropriate, for deaths that, in its judgment, might reasonably be expected to involve causes of deaths enumerated in this chapter;

(4) For the written determination of the causes of death investigated pursuant to this chapter;

(5) For the presentation to the courts of Rhode Island of expert testimony relating to the cause of death;

(6) For the keeping of complete records, including names, places, circumstances, and causes of deaths, of deaths investigated and reported, copies of which shall be delivered to the attorney general and of which written determinations of causes of death shall be made available for public inspection;

(7) For the burial of bodies for which there is no other existing legal responsibility to do so;

(8) For the development and enforcement of procedures for the pronouncement of death and for the transplantation of organs from bodies of persons who have died within the state;

(9) For a multi-disciplinary team review of child fatalities with the goal to decrease the prevalence of preventable child deaths and report recommendations for community- and systems-intervention strategies. A child death-review team shall include, but is not limited to, representation from state agencies, health care, child welfare, and law enforcement; and

(10) The department shall work with the department of children, youth and families and the office of the child advocate to develop a process to ensure the timely availability of autopsy reports on child deaths.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1973, ch. 169, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 400, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 26, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 27, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 141, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 143, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 342, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 368, § 1.)