Jessamine County Coroner

What Does a Coroner Do?

When people think of the coroner most think of the person who is at the death scene, but few know what a coroner really does. Some of the responsibilities include:

1. Identification of the body.

2. Establish the cause of death. (The coroner can order an autopsy without the permission of the decedent's next of kin).

3. Establish the manner of death.  Five manners of death include: (1) Natural (2) Accidental (3) Suicide (4) Homicide (5) Undetermined.

4. Notification of death to the next of kin.

Types of cases that the coroner may work:

1. Homicide or death involving violence.

2. Suicide.

3. Death involving drugs or poison.

4. Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs).

5. Motor vehicle accident when external examination of the body reveals no lethal or traumatic injuries.

6. Deaths as a result of fire.

7. Cases of suspected child abuse.

8. Any death due to unnatural causes.

9. Any time a human skeleton is discovered.

10. When post-mortem decomposition of a human corpse exists.

11. Deaths due to drowning.

12. Sudden infant death syndrome.

13. Accidental deaths.

14. Any time a person under age 40 dies without a past medical history.

15. Death that occurs at a work site without obvious cause or obvious injury.

16. Any time a body is to be cremated.

17. Any sudden unexplained death.

18. Any time a physician refuses to sign a death certificate.

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