“Why do we do what we do? Does it matter to the decedent? They know how they died. We’re there for the family, the criminal justice system, the medical system, and the public health system.”
Dr. Gregory Schmunk, former president of the National Association of Medical Examiners
Death-scene investigators are among the first professionals to come face to face with individuals and caregivers during a death event. Investigators and their medicolegal colleagues play a critical role in survivors’ short and long-term coping.
Autopsy and investigation laws, protocol, and training vary by jurisdiction, but here are a few ways medicolegal professionals can facilitate a compassionate death investigation: