FAQs

What if I have questions regarding the autopsy?

If you have any questions or concerns about the autopsy, please call us at 515-725-1400 during our public business hours (8:00 am–4:30 pm). We are here to answer any questions and help you...

How does the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner help families?

A properly completed death certificate is usually necessary to claim insurance, receive government benefits, settle the estate, and pursue any civil or criminal legal action.

Medical...

Why is a forensic autopsy necessary if the cause of death seems obvious, such as a gunshot wound?

A complete autopsy examination can help determine details necessary for determining the manner of death and provide information that may need to be presented in court. For example, details in an...

What is the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner (IOSME)?

The IOSME includes medical doctors (forensic pathologists), investigators, and other staff. We provide forensic autopsy and investigative services when requested to do so by county medical...

What does a county medical examiner do?

The county medical examiner is called to the scene of death to evaluate the deceased and investigate the circumstances of death. He or she will interview witnesses and family, photograph the...

What do I do next when a loved one dies?

You will need to select a funeral home to assist you with making funeral arrangements and coordinating the final disposition of your loved one’s remains. Once you have chosen a funeral home, the...

Why is the medical examiner involved?

In Iowa, any death that is violent, suspicious, or sudden and unexpected must be investigated by an appointed medical examiner. This includes any death that is not attended by a physician.

What is a county medical examiner and county medical examiner investigator?

A county medical examiner is a physician licensed within the state of Iowa and appointed by his or her respective County Board of Supervisors to conduct investigations necessary to determine the...

Can my loved one still be an organ and/or tissue donor?

Our office commonly works with Iowa Donor Network to arrange for organ and/or tissue donation. A need for an autopsy does not necessarily preclude organ and/or tissue donation. Although...

What is an autopsy?

An autopsy is a systematic examination of the organs of a body to determine the cause and manner of death and to assess any pathologic changes that may be present. A complete forensic autopsy...

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Printed from the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner website on May 25, 2017 at 1:23pm.