Title 23
Health and Safety

Chapter 4
Office of State Medical Examiners

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-4-6

§ 23-4-6. State medical examiners commission.

(a) There is established the state medical examiners commission. The commission shall hear and determine appeals to decisions by chief medical examiners regarding the undertaking of investigations, inquests, and autopsies, and shall advise the chief medical examiner on matters of public concern.

(b) The commission shall consist of twelve (12) members, three (3) of whom shall be ex officio members, viz., the director of health, the attorney general, the superintendent of state police, and nine (9) citizens of the state to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate for the term of three (3) years. The governor shall give due consideration to any recommendations for nominations submitted to him or her by the president of the Rhode Island Medical Society, the president of the Rhode Island Society of Pathologists, the president of the Rhode Island Bar Association, the vice president of Brown University Division of Biological and Medical Sciences and the president of the Rhode Island Funeral Directors Association. Each citizen member shall hold office for the term of his or her appointment and until his or her successor is appointed. Vacancies for citizen members shall be filled by appointment for the unexpired term only.

(c) The director of health and the attorney general shall be the chairperson and vice chairperson, respectively, of the commission. The chief medical examiner of the office of state medical examiners shall serve as the executive secretary of the commission, and the expenses of the commission shall be a responsibility of the department of health. The board may elect from among its members such other officers as it deems necessary. Seven (7) members of the board shall constitute a quorum and the vote of a majority of those present and voting shall be required for action. The commission shall meet at the call of its chairperson and at least four (4) times each year, the time and the place for each meeting to be fixed by the chairperson.

(d) Members of the commission shall be removable by the governor pursuant to the provisions of § 36-1-7 of the general laws and for cause only, and removal solely for partisan or personal reasons unrelated to capacity or fitness for the office shall be unlawful.

(e) Within ninety (90) days after the end of each fiscal year, the commission shall approve and submit an annual report to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the secretary of state, of its activities during that fiscal year. The report shall provide an operating statement summarizing meetings or hearings held, including meeting minutes, subjects addressed, decisions rendered, appeals considered and their disposition, rules or regulations promulgated, studies conducted, policies and plans developed, approved, or modified, and programs administered or initiated; a consolidated financial statement of all funds received and expended including the source of the funds, a listing of any staff supported by these funds, and a summary of any clerical, administrative or technical support received; a summary of performance during the previous fiscal year including accomplishments, shortcomings and remedies; a synopsis of hearing, complaints, suspensions, or other legal matters related to the authority of the commission; a summary of any training courses held pursuant to this chapter; a briefing on anticipated activities in the upcoming fiscal year; and findings and recommendations for improvements. The report shall be posted electronically on the websites of the general assembly and the secretary of state pursuant to the provisions of § 42-20-8.2. The director of the department of administration shall be responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of this subsection.

(f) The commission shall conduct a training course for newly appointed and qualified members within six (6) months of their qualification or designation. The course shall be developed by the chair of the commission, be approved by the commission, and be conducted by the chair of the commission. The commission may approve the use of any commission and/or staff members and/or individuals to assist with training. The training course shall include instruction in the following areas: the provisions of chapters 42-46, 36-14 and 38-2; and the commission’s rules and regulations. The director of the department of administration shall, within ninety (90) days of June 16, 2006, prepare and disseminate training materials relating to the provisions of chapters 42-46, 36-14, and 38-2.

History of Section.
P.L. 1973, ch. 169, § 1; P.L. 1979, ch. 318, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 400, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 103, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 144, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 35.