Investigation Required by Law

Legal Requirements

Minnesota Statute 390.11 mandates that the Medical Examiner or Coroner investigate deaths considered sudden or unexpected and/or associated with injury or toxicity. This includes, but is not limited to: unattended natural deaths at home; deaths from homicide, suicide, or accident; and deaths of persons to be cremated..

Testimony and Legal Consultation

This service is designed to assist the legal profession by providing clear and impartial interpretation of patterns of injury and disease. Staff pathologists provide court testimony on their cases, as required. Pathologists may review cases outside their jurisdiction by request.

Forensic Pathology

Forensic pathology is the study of diseases and injuries of the community. The forensic pathologist must be knowledgeable about all aspects of medical diagnosis and treatment. He or she also needs to understand non-medical fields such as law; criminology; engineering; highway design; police, social, and political science.

It is the duty of the forensic pathologist to safeguard the health and safety of the community. Infectious diseases and epidemics can be determined as a result of forensic postmortems. By investigating deaths, injury and disease in the community as a whole may be prevented.