Thursday, August 19, 2010
Cook County Medical Examiner's Office
As a result of a 1972 referendum, the Office of the Medical Examiner of Cook County was established December 6, 1976, and the Office of the Coroner was abolished. The Office is the only Medical Examiner system in Illinois and covers half the population of the state. The Office of the Medical Examiner plays a vital role in the administration of justice and protection of public health.
More than 18,000 deaths are reported to the Medical Examiner annually. Of this 6,000 are accepted for investigation. The office performs about 5,200 autopsies each year.
The Medical Examiners Office investigates any human death that falls within any or all of the following catergories:
criminal violence, suicide, accident, suddenly when in apparent good condition, unattended by a practicing licensed physician, suspicious or unusual circumstances, criminal abortion, poisoning or attributable to an adverse reaction to drugs and/or alcohol, disease constituting a threat to public health, disease, injury or toxic agent resulting from employment, during medical diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, in any prison or penal institution, when involuntarily confined in jail, prison hospitals or other institutions or in police custody, when any human body is to be cremated, dissected or buried at sea, unclaimed bodies, when a dead body is brought into a new medico-legal jurisdiction without proper medical certification
The Medical Examiners Office provides:
Certificate of Death (to funeral directors for filing with local registrar)
Autopsy Protocol (description of what is found at autopsy)
Toxicology Report (lists any foreign substance found in body)
Special Study Reports (if applicable)
Cremation Permits (to funeral directors)