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Procedure for Reporting Deaths

Deaths should be reported promptly to avoid delays in official investigations. All reported cases are given a specific Medical Examiner identifying number.

If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing facility, a Medical Examiner Death Investigator will call the person reporting the death.  The Investigator will request information, including:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Home address
  • Next of kin
  • Date and time of death
  • Medical history
  • Circumstances of death


The Investigator will assign a Medical Examiner Case number and inform as to the disposition of the case. For more information on Case Disposition, please see the "Case Disposition" section below.

If the death occurs in a hospital, the Investigator may ask whether the New York Organ Donor Network has been contacted and whether pre-transfusion blood samples have been placed on hold.

If the death occurs at any other location, the Investigator will respond to the scene of death, determine time of death, gather information from law enforcement personnel and family/friends at the scene, and either release the body or make arrangements for transport to the Dutchess County Medical Examiner's Office.

Case Disposition:

Refers to the decision as to whether jurisdiction is accepted by the Medical Examiner or not. There are two possibilities:

Case accepted:

Case declined (no case):