Investigations of Deaths, Injuries and Missing Persons
Where death considered to have occurred
- notification of death required
(1)Death investigations shall be under the direction of the district medical examiner and the district attorney for the county where the death occurs.
(2)For purposes of ORS 146.003 (Definitions for ORS 146.003 to 146.189 and 146.710 to 146.992) to 146.189 (Use of records to identify human remains and missing persons), if the county where death occurs is unknown, the death shall be deemed to have occurred in the county where the body is found, except that if in an emergency the body is moved by conveyance to another county and is dead on arrival, the death shall be deemed to have occurred in the county from which the body was originally removed.
(3)The district medical examiner or an assistant district medical examiner for the county where death occurs shall be immediately notified of:
(a)All deaths requiring investigation; and
(b)All deaths of persons admitted to a hospital or institution for less than 24 hours, although the medical examiner need not investigate nor certify such deaths.
(4)No person having knowledge of a death requiring investigation shall intentionally or knowingly fail to make notification thereof as required by subsection (3) of this section.
(5)The district medical examiner or medical-legal death investigator shall immediately notify the district attorney for the county where death occurs of all deaths requiring investigation except for those specified by ORS 146.090 (Deaths requiring investigation) (1)(d) to (g).
(6)All peace officers, health care providers as defined in ORS 192.556 (Definitions for ORS 192.553 to 192.581), supervisors of penal institutions and supervisors of hospitals or institutions caring for the ill or helpless shall cooperate with the medical examiner by providing a decedent’s medical records and tissue samples and any other material necessary to conduct the death investigation of the decedent and shall make notification of deaths as required by subsection (3) of this section. A person who cooperates with the medical examiner in accordance with this subsection does not:
(a)Waive any claim of privilege applicable to, or the confidentiality of, the materials and records provided.
(b)Waive any claim that the materials and records are subject to an exemption from disclosure under ORS 192.311 (Definitions for ORS 192.311 to 192.478) to 192.478 (Exemption for Judicial Department).
(7)Records or materials described in subsection (6) of this section may be released by the medical examiner only pursuant to a valid court order. [1973 c.408 §13; 1985 c.207 §22; 1995 c.744 §14; 2009 c.222 §1; 2017 c.151 §14]
Law Review Citations
10 WLJ 2-10 (1973)