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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 550. Board of Health Regulations Governing Vital Records
2/28/2024

12VAC5-550-370. Responsibility of the medical examiner.

When a medical examiner assumes jurisdiction in a death or when a medically unattended death occurs without medical attendance a known medical history or information, the medical examiner shall be responsible for executing and signing the medical certification of cause of death as follows:

1. The medical examiner shall, at the time of releasing a body to a funeral service licensee or person who first assumes custody of a dead body, or as soon as practicable thereafter, execute and sign the medical certification of cause of death on the death certificate form prescribed by the State Registrar.

2. In any case where an autopsy is scheduled and the medical examiner wishes to await its gross findings to confirm a tentative clinical finding, he shall give the funeral service licensee notice as to when he expects to have the medical data necessary for the certification of cause of death. If the provisions of 12VAC5-550-350 cannot be adhered to, he shall indicate that the cause is pending and sign the certification. Immediately after the medical data necessary for determining the cause of death have been made known, the medical examiner shall, over his signature, forward the cause of death to the registrar.

3. In any case where a death has been referred to the medical examiner because a physician in attendance is deceased or physically incapacitated and there was no associate physician, the medical examiner shall prepare and sign the medical certification of cause of death.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-250 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-29-100 § 10.3, eff. April 1, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 26, eff. October 8, 2003.

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