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Pathology

Goal Statement

To integrate the clinical information of past medical history and circumstances of death with evidentiary findings at the scene of death, gross and microscopic autopsy findings and toxicological findings in order to reliably determine the cause and manner of death in Medical Examiner cases. Based on information obtained from our investigations, to develop and implement programs designed to protect public health and reduce mortality.

Program Description

The Pathology Division is responsible for the death investigation of deceased persons whose circumstances of death are violent, suspicious, unexpected or unattended as enumerated in Florida State Statutes §406.11. Activities include death scene investigation, external examination, autopsy, laboratory tests, determination of cause and manner of death, preparation of autopsy reports, and other documentation related to the death and testimony in subsequent judicial proceedings. Training is provided to area law enforcement agencies and medical institutions. The pathology section is responsible for proper disposition of decedents coming within the Medical Examiner's jurisdiction, including transportation from the death scene to the Medical Examiner's facility, receipt and storage of the bodies, preparation and assistance at autopsy and release of the remains to funeral homes. Staff also provides expert witness testimony for criminal trials.