Information for Physicians

Medical Examiner
Dennis J. Chute, M.D. Chief Medical Examiner


Procedure for Reporting Deaths


When to Report a Death

- Any sudden death of a person in apparent good health (adult or child).

- Deaths which occur unattended by a physician and where no physician can be found to certify the cause of death.

- Any death which may constitute a threat to public health.

- All deaths due to:

  • Criminal violence
  • Criminal neglect or resulting from an unlawful act
  • Suicides


- All accidents (vehicular, construction, recreational, home) and all cases in which a traumatic injury may have contributed to death, regardless of when the trauma occurred.

- Stillbirths and neonatal deaths when there is a history of maternal drug abuse or trauma, and fetuses born unattended by a physician or midwife.

- All deaths caused by alcohol abuse, drug abuse, chemical overdose or poisoning.

- All deaths in custody (persons in jail, prison or detention, persons in police custody, and hospitalized prisoners, regardless of the duration of hospitalization).

- All deaths due to disease or injury resulting from employment.

- Any death which occurs under suspicious or unusual circumstance.

- When there is no legal next of kin or court appointed guardian.


A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
Dutchess County Seal