Medical Examiners Commission

Overview

The Medical Examiners Act, Chapter 406, Florida Statutes, was enacted by the 1970 Legislature in order to establish minimum and uniform standards of excellence in statewide medical examiner services.

The 9-Member Commission is Composed of the Following Categories

  • Two licensed physicians who are active district medical examiners *

  • One licensed funeral director *

  • One state attorney *

  • One public defender * 

  • One sheriff *

  • One county commissioner *

  • The Attorney General or designated proxy

  • The Secretary of Health or designated proxy
(* Appointed by the Governor)

The Medical Examiners Commission staff provides assistance to Commission members on issues related to the statutory mandates of the Commission, Legislative issues, maintenance of Commission Rules and other administrative issues.

As part of its statutorily mandated duties, the Commission has certain disciplinary oversight of medical examiners activities, staff, also, have specific duties and responsibilities.

The Commission interacts with other local, state and federal agencies in an effort to enhance the medical examiners’ role of assisting the citizens of Florida in the area of death investigations and reporting.

Commission staff administer the quarterly meetings of the Commission, oversees the appointment and re-appointment process for all District Medical Examiners and annually publishes a workload report of the district medical examiners. Staff also publish an annual and semi-annual report of deaths in the state.


Primary Responsibilities of the Commission and Support Staff

  • Administers quarterly Commission meetings providing meeting packet containing staff researched agenda items with appropriate background documentation.

  • Surveys one third of Florida’s District Medical Examiner (DME) constituents each year for reappointments by the Governor.

  • Assist the chair of local search committees to follow Rule-mandated procedures in filling a DME vacancy.

  • Monitors legislative actions for proposed laws which may affect the medical examiner system and guide Commission approved proposed rules and rule changes through the rule making process.

  • Responds to correspondence or telephone inquiries from the public and media.

  • Publishes an Annual Medical Examiners Report, the Annual and Interim Drugs in Deceased Persons Report and other ad hoc reports requested by FDLE or other state agencies.
     

Links to Information Dealing With Medical Examiner Activities

To contact Veterans Affairs to determine if an unclaimed body has the right to burial in a National Cemetery:
http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/topics/indigent/index.htm

Consular Notification of Deaths of Foreign Nationals:
http://travel.state.gov/law/consular/consular_753.html OR http://travel.state.gov/pdf/CNA_book.pdf 

Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System (FEMORS)
www.femors.org

CDC - Medical Examiners, Coroners, and Biologic Terrorism A Guidebook for Surveillance and Case Management
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5308a1.htm 


Guidance for Safe Handling of Human Remains of Ebola Patients in US Hospitals and Mortuaries.
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/guidance-safe-handling-human-remains-ebola-patients-us-hospitals-mortuaries.html