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Chapter 146 — Investigationsof Deaths, Injuries and Missing Persons 2009 EDITION  DEATHS,INJURIES AND MISSING PERSONS PROCEDUREIN CRIMINAL MATTERS GENERALLY INVESTIGATIONOF DEATHS (Definitions) 146.003     Definitionsfor ORS 146.003 to 146.189 and 146.710 to 146.992 (AdministrativeProvisions) 146.015     StateMedical Examiner Advisory Board; Department of State Police rules; appointmentof State Medical Examiner 146.025     Functionsof board 146.035     StateMedical Examiner; personnel; records; right to examine records 146.045     Dutiesof State Medical Examiner 146.055     Advice;autopsies; training programs; report 146.065     Countyand district medical examiners; appointment; Deputy State Medical Examiner 146.075     Districtoffice duties; personnel; expenses for certain duties; records and reports 146.080     Assistantdistrict medical examiner 146.085     Deputymedical examiners 146.088     Whenmedical examiner is officer or employee of public body 146.090     Deathsrequiring investigation 146.095     Investigation;certification; report; training 146.100     Wheredeath considered to have occurred; notification of death required 146.103     Removalof body, effects or weapons prohibited without consent 146.107     Authorityto enter and secure certain premises 146.109     Notificationof next of kin 146.113     Authorityto order removal of body fluids 146.117     Autopsies 146.121     Dispositionof body; filing; expenses 146.125     Dispositionof personal property (Inquest) 146.135     Authorityto order inquest 146.145     Juryof inquest 146.155     Inquestproceedings 146.165     Verdict;findings; testimony and verdict of inquest as admissible evidence in subsequentproceedings IDENTIFICATIONOF DEAD AND MISSING PERSONS 146.171     Unidentifiedhuman remains; maintenance of records 146.174     Medicalexaminer to provide information about unidentified human remains;identification 146.177     Proceduresfor investigating missing persons 146.181     Missingpersons; police report; supplementary report 146.184     Medicalpractitioners to provide information about missing persons 146.187     DNAsample 146.189     Useof records to identify human remains and missing persons; disposition ofrecords INVESTIGATIONSOF INJURIES 146.710     Definitionfor ORS 146.710 to 146.780 146.730     Investigation 146.740     Reportsof medical examiner 146.750     Injuriesto be reported to medical examiner 146.760     Immunityof participant in making of report 146.780     Confidentialityof records and reports PENALTIES 146.992     Penalties       146.001 [Formerly146.087; repealed by 1987 c.517 §1 (432.300 enacted in lieu of 146.001)] INVESTIGATIONOF DEATHS (Definitions)       146.003Definitions for ORS 146.003 to 146.189 and 146.710 to 146.992. As used in ORS146.003 to 146.189 and 146.710 to 146.992, unless the context requiresotherwise:      (1)“Approved laboratory” means a laboratory approved by the State Medical Examineras competent to perform the blood sample analysis required by ORS 146.113 (2).      (2)“Assistant district medical examiner” means a physician appointed by thedistrict medical examiner to investigate and certify deaths within a county ordistrict.      (3)“Cause of death” means the primary or basic disease process or injury endinglife.      (4)“Death requiring investigation” means the death of a person occurring in anyone of the circumstances set forth in ORS 146.090.      (5)“Deputy medical examiner” means a person appointed by the district medicalexaminer to assist in the investigation of deaths within a county.      (6)“District medical examiner” means a physician appointed by the State MedicalExaminer to investigate and certify deaths within a county or district,including a Deputy State Medical Examiner.      (7)“Law enforcement agency” means a county sheriff’s office, municipal policedepartment and the Oregon State Police.      (8)“Legal intervention” includes an execution pursuant to ORS 137.463, 137.467 and137.473 and other legal use of force resulting in death.      (9)“Manner of death” means the designation of the probable mode of production ofthe cause of death, including natural, accidental, suicidal, homicidal, legalintervention or undetermined.      (10)“Medical examiner” means a physician appointed as provided by ORS 146.003 to146.189 to investigate and certify the cause and manner of deaths requiringinvestigation, including the State Medical Examiner.      (11)“Pathologist” means a physician holding a current license to practice medicineand surgery and who is eligible for certification by the American Board ofPathology.      (12)“Unidentified human remains” does not include human remains that are unidentifiedhuman remains that are part of an archaeological site or suspected of beingNative American and covered under ORS chapters 97 and 390 and ORS 358.905 to358.961. [1973 c.408 §1a; 1995 c.744 §17; 2007 c.500 §1]       146.005 [1959 c.629 §8;1965 c.221 §14; repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]       146.010 [Amended by1959 c.629 §16; renumbered 10.810] (AdministrativeProvisions)       146.015State Medical Examiner Advisory Board; Department of State Police rules;appointment of State Medical Examiner. (1) There is hereby established theState Medical Examiner Advisory Board.      (2)The advisory board shall make policies for the administration of ORS 146.003 to146.189 and the Department of State Police shall make rules to effectuate suchpolicies.      (3)The advisory board shall recommend the name or names of pathologists to theSuperintendent of State Police from which the superintendent shall appoint theState Medical Examiner.      (4)The State Medical Examiner Advisory Board shall consist of 10 members appointedby the Governor and shall include:      (a)The Chairman of the Department of Anatomic Pathology at the Oregon Health andScience University, who shall be the chairperson of the board;      (b)The State Health Officer;      (c)A sheriff;      (d)A trauma physician recommended by the State Trauma Advisory Board;      (e)A pathologist;      (f)A district attorney;      (g)A funeral service practitioner and embalmer licensed by the State Mortuary andCemetery Board;      (h)A chief of police;      (i)A member of the defense bar; and      (j)A member of the public at large.      (5)The persons described in subsection (4)(a) and (b) of this section shall serveas long as they hold their respective positions. The terms of the personsdescribed in subsection (4)(c), (f) and (h) of this section shall be for fouryears, except that they shall become vacant if the person ceases to be asheriff, district attorney or chief of police, respectively. The terms of theother members of the board shall be four years.      (6)A member of the advisory board is entitled to compensation and expenses asprovided in ORS 292.495.      (7)The advisory board shall meet annually at a time and place determined by thechairperson. The chairperson or any four members of the board may call aspecial meeting upon not less than one week’s notice to the members of theboard.      (8)Six members of the board shall constitute a quorum. [1973 c.408 §2; 1995 c.744 §9]       146.020 [Renumbered10.820]       146.025Functions of board.In addition to the duties set forth in ORS 146.015 the State Medical ExaminerAdvisory Board shall:      (1)Recommend to the Oregon Department of Administrative Services thequalifications and compensation for the positions of State Medical Examiner andDeputy State Medical Examiner.      (2)Recommend to the county courts the compensation of the district medicalexaminers and assistant district medical examiners.      (3)Recommend to district medical examiners and district attorneys thequalifications for deputy medical examiners.      (4)Approve or disapprove of a single district medical examiner’s office for two ormore counties as provided by ORS 146.065 (5).      (5)Recommend a proposed budget for the State Medical Examiner’s office to theDepartment of State Police.      (6)Annually review the State Medical Examiner’s report prescribed by ORS 146.055and report to the Superintendent of State Police and to the State Board ofHealth regarding the operation of the State Medical Examiner’s office. [1973c.408 §3; 1995 c.744 §10]       146.030 [1959 c.629 §10;1965 c.221 §15; repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]       146.035State Medical Examiner; personnel; records; right to examine records. (1) There shallbe established within the Department of State Police the State Medical Examiner’soffice for the purpose of directing and supporting the state death investigationprogram.      (2)The State Medical Examiner shall manage all aspects of the State MedicalExaminer’s program.      (3)Subject to the State Personnel Relations Law, the State Medical Examiner mayemploy or discharge other personnel of the State Medical Examiner’s office.      (4)The State Medical Examiner’s office shall:      (a)File and maintain appropriate reports on all deaths requiring investigation.      (b)Maintain an accurate list of all active district medical examiners, assistantdistrict medical examiners and designated pathologists.      (c)Transmit monthly to the Department of Transportation a report for the precedingcalendar month of all information obtained under ORS 146.113.      (5)Notwithstanding ORS 192.501 (36):      (a)Any parent, spouse, sibling, child or personal representative of the deceased,or any person who may be criminally or civilly liable for the death, or theirauthorized representatives respectively, may examine and obtain copies of anymedical examiner’s report, autopsy report or laboratory test report ordered bya medical examiner under ORS 146.117.      (b)The system described in ORS 192.517 (1) shall have access to reports describedin this subsection as provided in ORS 192.517. [1973 c.408 §4; 1987 c.142 §1;1995 c.504 §3; 1995 c.744 §8; 2003 c.14 §60; 2005 c.498 §1; 2009 c.222 §§3,5]       146.040 [1959 c.629 §1;repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]       146.045Duties of State Medical Examiner. (1) After consultation with the StateMedical Examiner Advisory Board, the State Medical Examiner shall appoint eachDeputy State Medical Examiner.      (2)The State Medical Examiner shall:      (a)Appoint and discharge each district medical examiner as provided by ORS 146.065(2).      (b)Designate those pathologists authorized to perform autopsies under ORS 146.117(2).      (c)Approve those laboratories authorized to perform the analyses required underORS 146.113 (2).      (3)The State Medical Examiner may:      (a)Assume control of a death investigation in cooperation with the districtattorney.      (b)Order an autopsy in a death requiring investigation.      (c)Certify the cause and manner of a death requiring investigation.      (d)Amend a previously completed death certificate on a death requiringinvestigation.      (e)Order a body exhumed in a death requiring investigation.      (f)Designate a Deputy State Medical Examiner as Acting State Medical Examiner.      (g)After a reasonable and thorough investigation, complete and file a deathcertificate for a person whose body is not found.      (4)Distribution of moneys from the State Medical Examiner’s budget for partialreimbursement of each county’s autopsy expenditures shall be made subject toapproval of the State Medical Examiner.      (5)Within 45 days of receipt of information that a person is missing at sea andpresumed dead, the State Medical Examiner shall determine whether theinformation is credible and, if so, complete and file a death certificate forthe person presumed dead. If the information is determined not to be credible,the State Medical Examiner may continue the death investigation. [1973 c.408 §5;2005 c.90 §1]       146.050 [1959 c.629 §2;repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]       146.055Advice; autopsies; training programs; report. (1) The State Medical Examinershall assist and advise district medical examiners in the performance of theirduties.      (2)The State Medical Examiner shall perform autopsies, if in the judgment of theState Medical Examiner such autopsy is necessary in any death requiringinvestigation, when requested by a medical examiner or district attorney.      (3)The State Medical Examiner shall regularly conduct training programs for thedistrict medical examiners and law enforcement agencies.      (4)The State Medical Examiner shall submit an annual report to the State MedicalExaminer Advisory Board detailing the activities and accomplishments of thestate and each county office in the preceding year as well as a cost analysisof the office of the State Medical Examiner. [1973 c.408 §6]       146.060 [1959 c.629 §3;repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]       146.065County and district medical examiners; appointment; Deputy State MedicalExaminer.(1) In each county there shall be a medical examiner for the purpose ofinvestigating and certifying the cause and manner of deaths requiringinvestigation.      (2)Each district medical examiner shall be appointed by the State Medical Examinerwith approval of the appropriate board or boards of commissioners and may bedischarged by the
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  • Chapter 146 — Investigationsof Deaths, Injuries and Missing Persons

     

    2009 EDITION

     

     

    DEATHS,INJURIES AND MISSING PERSONS

     

    PROCEDUREIN CRIMINAL MATTERS GENERALLY

     

    INVESTIGATIONOF DEATHS

     

    (Definitions)

     

    146.003     Definitionsfor ORS 146.003 to 146.189 and 146.710 to 146.992

     

    (AdministrativeProvisions)

     

    146.015     StateMedical Examiner Advisory Board; Department of State Police rules; appointmentof State Medical Examiner

     

    146.025     Functionsof board

     

    146.035     StateMedical Examiner; personnel; records; right to examine records

     

    146.045     Dutiesof State Medical Examiner

     

    146.055     Advice;autopsies; training programs; report

     

    146.065     Countyand district medical examiners; appointment; Deputy State Medical Examiner

     

    146.075     Districtoffice duties; personnel; expenses for certain duties; records and reports

     

    146.080     Assistantdistrict medical examiner

     

    146.085     Deputymedical examiners

     

    146.088     Whenmedical examiner is officer or employee of public body

     

    146.090     Deathsrequiring investigation

     

    146.095     Investigation;certification; report; training

     

    146.100     Wheredeath considered to have occurred; notification of death required

     

    146.103     Removalof body, effects or weapons prohibited without consent

     

    146.107     Authorityto enter and secure certain premises

     

    146.109     Notificationof next of kin

     

    146.113     Authorityto order removal of body fluids

     

    146.117     Autopsies

     

    146.121     Dispositionof body; filing; expenses

     

    146.125     Dispositionof personal property

     

    (Inquest)

     

    146.135     Authorityto order inquest

     

    146.145     Juryof inquest

     

    146.155     Inquestproceedings

     

    146.165     Verdict;findings; testimony and verdict of inquest as admissible evidence in subsequentproceedings

     

    IDENTIFICATIONOF DEAD AND MISSING PERSONS

     

    146.171     Unidentifiedhuman remains; maintenance of records

     

    146.174     Medicalexaminer to provide information about unidentified human remains;identification

     

    146.177     Proceduresfor investigating missing persons

     

    146.181     Missingpersons; police report; supplementary report

     

    146.184     Medicalpractitioners to provide information about missing persons

     

    146.187     DNAsample

     

    146.189     Useof records to identify human remains and missing persons; disposition ofrecords

     

    INVESTIGATIONSOF INJURIES

     

    146.710     Definitionfor ORS 146.710 to 146.780

     

    146.730     Investigation

     

    146.740     Reportsof medical examiner

     

    146.750     Injuriesto be reported to medical examiner

     

    146.760     Immunityof participant in making of report

     

    146.780     Confidentialityof records and reports

     

    PENALTIES

     

    146.992     Penalties

     

          146.001 [Formerly146.087; repealed by 1987 c.517 §1 (432.300 enacted in lieu of 146.001)]

     

    INVESTIGATIONOF DEATHS

     

    (Definitions)

     

          146.003Definitions for ORS 146.003 to 146.189 and 146.710 to 146.992. As used in ORS146.003 to 146.189 and 146.710 to 146.992, unless the context requiresotherwise:

          (1)“Approved laboratory” means a laboratory approved by the State Medical Examineras competent to perform the blood sample analysis required by ORS 146.113 (2).

          (2)“Assistant district medical examiner” means a physician appointed by thedistrict medical examiner to investigate and certify deaths within a county ordistrict.

          (3)“Cause of death” means the primary or basic disease process or injury endinglife.

          (4)“Death requiring investigation” means the death of a person occurring in anyone of the circumstances set forth in ORS 146.090.

          (5)“Deputy medical examiner” means a person appointed by the district medicalexaminer to assist in the investigation of deaths within a county.

          (6)“District medical examiner” means a physician appointed by the State MedicalExaminer to investigate and certify deaths within a county or district,including a Deputy State Medical Examiner.

          (7)“Law enforcement agency” means a county sheriff’s office, municipal policedepartment and the Oregon State Police.

          (8)“Legal intervention” includes an execution pursuant to ORS 137.463, 137.467 and137.473 and other legal use of force resulting in death.

          (9)“Manner of death” means the designation of the probable mode of production ofthe cause of death, including natural, accidental, suicidal, homicidal, legalintervention or undetermined.

          (10)“Medical examiner” means a physician appointed as provided by ORS 146.003 to146.189 to investigate and certify the cause and manner of deaths requiringinvestigation, including the State Medical Examiner.

          (11)“Pathologist” means a physician holding a current license to practice medicineand surgery and who is eligible for certification by the American Board ofPathology.

          (12)“Unidentified human remains” does not include human remains that are unidentifiedhuman remains that are part of an archaeological site or suspected of beingNative American and covered under ORS chapters 97 and 390 and ORS 358.905 to358.961. [1973 c.408 §1a; 1995 c.744 §17; 2007 c.500 §1]

     

          146.005 [1959 c.629 §8;1965 c.221 §14; repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]

     

          146.010 [Amended by1959 c.629 §16; renumbered 10.810]

     

    (AdministrativeProvisions)

     

          146.015State Medical Examiner Advisory Board; Department of State Police rules;appointment of State Medical Examiner. (1) There is hereby established theState Medical Examiner Advisory Board.

          (2)The advisory board shall make policies for the administration of ORS 146.003 to146.189 and the Department of State Police shall make rules to effectuate suchpolicies.

          (3)The advisory board shall recommend the name or names of pathologists to theSuperintendent of State Police from which the superintendent shall appoint theState Medical Examiner.

          (4)The State Medical Examiner Advisory Board shall consist of 10 members appointedby the Governor and shall include:

          (a)The Chairman of the Department of Anatomic Pathology at the Oregon Health andScience University, who shall be the chairperson of the board;

          (b)The State Health Officer;

          (c)A sheriff;

          (d)A trauma physician recommended by the State Trauma Advisory Board;

          (e)A pathologist;

          (f)A district attorney;

          (g)A funeral service practitioner and embalmer licensed by the State Mortuary andCemetery Board;

          (h)A chief of police;

          (i)A member of the defense bar; and

          (j)A member of the public at large.

          (5)The persons described in subsection (4)(a) and (b) of this section shall serveas long as they hold their respective positions. The terms of the personsdescribed in subsection (4)(c), (f) and (h) of this section shall be for fouryears, except that they shall become vacant if the person ceases to be asheriff, district attorney or chief of police, respectively. The terms of theother members of the board shall be four years.

          (6)A member of the advisory board is entitled to compensation and expenses asprovided in ORS 292.495.

          (7)The advisory board shall meet annually at a time and place determined by thechairperson. The chairperson or any four members of the board may call aspecial meeting upon not less than one week’s notice to the members of theboard.

          (8)Six members of the board shall constitute a quorum. [1973 c.408 §2; 1995 c.744 §9]

     

          146.020 [Renumbered10.820]

     

          146.025Functions of board.In addition to the duties set forth in ORS 146.015 the State Medical ExaminerAdvisory Board shall:

          (1)Recommend to the Oregon Department of Administrative Services thequalifications and compensation for the positions of State Medical Examiner andDeputy State Medical Examiner.

          (2)Recommend to the county courts the compensation of the district medicalexaminers and assistant district medical examiners.

          (3)Recommend to district medical examiners and district attorneys thequalifications for deputy medical examiners.

          (4)Approve or disapprove of a single district medical examiner’s office for two ormore counties as provided by ORS 146.065 (5).

          (5)Recommend a proposed budget for the State Medical Examiner’s office to theDepartment of State Police.

          (6)Annually review the State Medical Examiner’s report prescribed by ORS 146.055and report to the Superintendent of State Police and to the State Board ofHealth regarding the operation of the State Medical Examiner’s office. [1973c.408 §3; 1995 c.744 §10]

     

          146.030 [1959 c.629 §10;1965 c.221 §15; repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]

     

          146.035State Medical Examiner; personnel; records; right to examine records. (1) There shallbe established within the Department of State Police the State Medical Examiner’soffice for the purpose of directing and supporting the state death investigationprogram.

          (2)The State Medical Examiner shall manage all aspects of the State MedicalExaminer’s program.

          (3)Subject to the State Personnel Relations Law, the State Medical Examiner mayemploy or discharge other personnel of the State Medical Examiner’s office.

          (4)The State Medical Examiner’s office shall:

          (a)File and maintain appropriate reports on all deaths requiring investigation.

          (b)Maintain an accurate list of all active district medical examiners, assistantdistrict medical examiners and designated pathologists.

          (c)Transmit monthly to the Department of Transportation a report for the precedingcalendar month of all information obtained under ORS 146.113.

          (5)Notwithstanding ORS 192.501 (36):

          (a)Any parent, spouse, sibling, child or personal representative of the deceased,or any person who may be criminally or civilly liable for the death, or theirauthorized representatives respectively, may examine and obtain copies of anymedical examiner’s report, autopsy report or laboratory test report ordered bya medical examiner under ORS 146.117.

          (b)The system described in ORS 192.517 (1) shall have access to reports describedin this subsection as provided in ORS 192.517. [1973 c.408 §4; 1987 c.142 §1;1995 c.504 §3; 1995 c.744 §8; 2003 c.14 §60; 2005 c.498 §1; 2009 c.222 §§3,5]

     

          146.040 [1959 c.629 §1;repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]

     

          146.045Duties of State Medical Examiner. (1) After consultation with the StateMedical Examiner Advisory Board, the State Medical Examiner shall appoint eachDeputy State Medical Examiner.

          (2)The State Medical Examiner shall:

          (a)Appoint and discharge each district medical examiner as provided by ORS 146.065(2).

          (b)Designate those pathologists authorized to perform autopsies under ORS 146.117(2).

          (c)Approve those laboratories authorized to perform the analyses required underORS 146.113 (2).

          (3)The State Medical Examiner may:

          (a)Assume control of a death investigation in cooperation with the districtattorney.

          (b)Order an autopsy in a death requiring investigation.

          (c)Certify the cause and manner of a death requiring investigation.

          (d)Amend a previously completed death certificate on a death requiringinvestigation.

          (e)Order a body exhumed in a death requiring investigation.

          (f)Designate a Deputy State Medical Examiner as Acting State Medical Examiner.

          (g)After a reasonable and thorough investigation, complete and file a deathcertificate for a person whose body is not found.

          (4)Distribution of moneys from the State Medical Examiner’s budget for partialreimbursement of each county’s autopsy expenditures shall be made subject toapproval of the State Medical Examiner.

          (5)Within 45 days of receipt of information that a person is missing at sea andpresumed dead, the State Medical Examiner shall determine whether theinformation is credible and, if so, complete and file a death certificate forthe person presumed dead. If the information is determined not to be credible,the State Medical Examiner may continue the death investigation. [1973 c.408 §5;2005 c.90 §1]

     

          146.050 [1959 c.629 §2;repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]

     

          146.055Advice; autopsies; training programs; report. (1) The State Medical Examinershall assist and advise district medical examiners in the performance of theirduties.

          (2)The State Medical Examiner shall perform autopsies, if in the judgment of theState Medical Examiner such autopsy is necessary in any death requiringinvestigation, when requested by a medical examiner or district attorney.

          (3)The State Medical Examiner shall regularly conduct training programs for thedistrict medical examiners and law enforcement agencies.

          (4)The State Medical Examiner shall submit an annual report to the State MedicalExaminer Advisory Board detailing the activities and accomplishments of thestate and each county office in the preceding year as well as a cost analysisof the office of the State Medical Examiner. [1973 c.408 §6]

     

          146.060 [1959 c.629 §3;repealed by 1973 c.408 §35]

     

          146.065County and district medical examiners; appointment; Deputy State MedicalExaminer.(1) In each county there shall be a medical examiner for the purpose ofinvestigating and certifying the cause and manner of deaths requiringinvestigation.

          (2)Each district medical examiner shall be appointed by the State Medical Examinerwith approval of the appropriate board or boards of commissioners and may bedischarged by the

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