FAQs

How long does an autopsy take?

Once the deceased is received by the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner, an autopsy is performed as soon as possible. Usually the deceased can be released within a few days. The autopsy and...

Who can request that a forensic autopsy be performed?

County medical examiners, county attorneys, and the state medical examiner have the statutory authority and obligation to request that a forensic autopsy be performed in cases where death is...

Who pays for the forensic autopsy?

The family is not charged for a forensic autopsy when one is requested as outlined in the FAQ. However, when an individual’s death does not fall under the County Medical Examiner’s jurisdiction,...

May a family refuse a forensic autopsy?

No. Forensic autopsies are necessary to answer medicolegal questions that are deemed in the public’s interest or to address a question of law.

The Iowa Office of the State...

What will happen if an autopsy is performed?

Your loved one will be transported to the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner for autopsy at our facility, which is located in Ankeny, Iowa. Usually, an investigator will be in contact with...

Who can obtain copies of the autopsy report and death certificate?

The cause and manner of death is a matter of public record and can be released, unless release of such information will hinder or harm an ongoing criminal investigation [Iowa Code 22.7(41)]. The...

How do I get a copy of the autopsy report and death certificate?

For deaths occurring in the state of Iowa, the final autopsy report is available to the legal next-of-kin upon receipt of a notarized written request; there is no charge for this report. To...

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Printed from the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner website on June 05, 2020 at 4:09pm.