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Fundamental Tasks of Medicolegal Death Investigation

Fundamental Tasks of Medicolegal Death Investigation

Medicolegal Death Investigators have standards of practice that require performance of specialized, technical skills, e.g., initial body examination at the scene, drawing postmortem specimens for analysis, etc. There are many specialized procedures that are fundamental and are necessary to perform a thorough medicolegal death investigation. Proof that an individual is experienced in correctly performing these tasks is required to show his/her competency. Successful performance of all 40 tasks identified in the list must be verified in writing by a competent practitioner working in the field who has personal knowledge that the applicant can perform the task independently and correctly.

You may have as many people as necessary sign off on the list showing that you have completed the tasks. You must also go through hands-on training to complete the tasklist, for example:

  • Actual death scene field work experience including body evaluation at the death scene and producing appropriately documented reports of death
  • Autopsy lab including body evaluation and drawing specimens
  • Role-play (creating scenarios that address training issues including mock scenes, etc.)
  • Other forensic lab work involving anthropology, odontology, postmortem evaluation, medical record review, etc.

(NOTE: It is understood that some jurisdictions do not perform certain identified tasks due to statute, policy or procedure. However, that does not preclude an applicant from receiving appropriate training in that area. If such issues arise, the applicant is encouraged to contact ABMDI for direction to determine how to best satisfy those specific requirements.)