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Utah Office of the Medical Examiner

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Reporting a Death

If you need to report a death to our office or want to inquire if a death falls under our jurisdiction, please call the central office number (801-816-3850) and you will be connected with an investigator. Deaths that fall under our jurisdiction are dictated by the Medical Examiner’s Act and are as follows:

26-4-7. Custody by Medical Examiner

Upon notification under Section 26-4-8 or investigation by the medical examiner’s office, the medical examiner shall assume custody of a deceased body if it appears that death was:

  1. by violence, gunshot, suicide, or accident (including all motor vehicle deaths);
  2. sudden death while in apparent good health;
  3. unattended deaths, except that an autopsy may only be performed in accordance with the provisions of Subsection 26-4-9(3);
  4. under suspicious or unusual circumstances;
  5. resulting from poisoning or overdose of drugs;
  6. resulting from diseases that may constitute a threat to the public health;
  7. resulting from disease, injury, toxic effect, or unusual exertion incurred within the scope of the decedent’s employment;
  8.  due to sudden infant death syndrome;
  9. resulting while the decedent was in prison, jail, police custody, the state hospital, or in a detention or medical facility operated for the treatment of persons with a mental illness, persons who are emotionally disturbed, or delinquent persons;
  10. associated with diagnostic or therapeutic procedures; or
  11. described in this section when request is made to assume custody by a county or district attorney or law enforcement agency in connection with a potential homicide investigation or prosecution.

Be aware that delayed deaths, even several years later, that are the result of complications of previous trauma, still fall under OME jurisdiction and need to be reported to our office.  For example:  a person that is a quadriplegic as the result of a motor vehicle accident 10 years ago develops pneumonia and dies should be reported to the OME.

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