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Cause of Death

The Coroner’s Office is also responsible for determining the cause of death.  Many citizens believe that the Forensic Pathologist is the only person that establishes cause of death.  However, the majority of deaths in Douglas County don’t require an autopsy and for those that do, the autopsy findings are only part of the investigation.  According to the National Association of Medical Examiner’s (NAME), a well-run office should autopsy somewhere between 10-13% of all reported cases.  The other 87-90% of the reported cases work out cause of death by the highly trained Medicolegal Death Investigators (MDI) reviewing existing medical records, consulting with outside physicians and deducing facts based on their education, training and experience.