§ 45-16-24. Notification of suspicious or unusual deaths; court ordered medical examiner's inquiry; written report of inquiry.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 45. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

Chapter 16. CORONERS

Article 2. DEATH INVESTIGATIONS

Current through 2019 Chapter 321

§ 45-16-24. Notification of suspicious or unusual deaths; court ordered medical examiner's inquiry; written report of inquiry

(a) When any individual dies in any county in this state:
(1) As a result of violence;
(2) By suicide or casualty;
(3) Suddenly when in apparent good health;
(4) In any suspicious or unusual manner, with particular attention to those individuals 16 years of age and under;
(5) After birth but before seven years of age if the death is unexpected or unexplained;
(6) As a result of an execution carried out pursuant to the imposition of the death penalty under Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17;
(7) When an inmate of a state hospital or a state, county, or city penal institution;
(8) After having been admitted to a hospital in an unconscious state and without regaining consciousness within 24 hours of admission;
(9) As a result of an apparent drug overdose; or
(10) When unattended by a physician,

it shall be the duty of any law enforcement officer or other person having knowledge of such death to notify immediately the coroner or county medical examiner of the county in which the acts or events resulting in the death occurred or the body is found. For the purposes of this Code section, no individual shall be deemed to have died unattended when the death occurred while he or she was a patient of a hospice licensed under Article 9 of Chapter 7 of Title 31.

(b) A coroner or county medical examiner who is notified of a death pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section under circumstances specified in paragraphs (1) through (9) of such subsection shall order a medical examiner's inquiry of that death. This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit a medical examiner's inquiry of a death if a coroner or county medical examiner is notified of a death under circumstances specified in paragraph (10) of subsection (a) of this Code section.
(c) Whenever an affidavit is made and filed with a court having criminal jurisdiction attesting that a person came to his death by foul play, that court may interrogate and examine witnesses, if any exist, as to the necessity of a medical examiner's inquiry. Should the court decide that a medical examiner's inquiry is essential to the ends of justice, such inquiry shall be ordered by that court.
(d) A medical examiner's inquiry required under this Code section shall be reduced to writing and filed as provided in Code Section 45-16-32. At the time of such filing, a copy of the medical examiner's inquiry into a death reported to a coroner or county medical examiner pursuant to paragraph (6) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall also be transmitted to the department of family and children services of the county in which the child resided at the time of death.

Cite as OCGA § 45-16-24

History. Amended by 2018 Ga. Laws 351, §1, eff. 7/1/2018.

Amended by 2017 Ga. Laws 141, §6-1, eff. 7/1/2017.

Amended by 2009 Ga. Laws 29, §1B, eff. 7/1/2009.