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Department Info

Information for Physicians

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

When to Report a Death

Procedure for Reporting Deaths

  • 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.
  • All 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 or legal 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