Why is this office involved? And, where is the decedent?

October 11, 2022

We are responsible for the investigation and the certification of the cause of death (disease or condition leading to death) and the manner of death (accident, natural, homicide, suicide, undetermined) for those decedents under our jurisdiction, deaths that occurs outside of a hospital or the care of a physician, a result of an accident such as motor vehicle collision or drug overdose or are suspected homicides or suicides. To do this, we have a dedicated team of forensic pathologists (licensed physicians), investigators, toxicologists, and administrative staff.


Can a family decline or object to an autopsy or our forensic investigation?

Generally, no. By law, we must perform our forensic investigation for cases under our jurisdiction and have a responsibility to decide if an autopsy will be performed. However, we seek to respect your wishes during this difficult time. Please discuss your concerns with us as soon as possible. We try to honor autopsy objections based on religion, if possible.


Where is my loved one being taken?

Your loved one is being taken to our office at 1 Newhall Street, San Francisco.