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Medicolegal Death Investigation Subcommittee

OSAC Medicolegal Death Investigation SC icon

The Medicolegal Death Investigation Subcommittee focuses on standards and guidelines related to sudden, unnatural, unexplained or suspicious deaths, including homicides, suicides, unintentional fatal injuries, drug-related deaths and other deaths that are sudden or unexpected; determination of the cause and manner of death.

In October 2020, the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Subcommittee was moved under the Medicolegal Death Investigation Subcommittee as a formal Task Group (TG). The DVI TG will continue to advance the scientific basis for disaster victim identification and mass fatality management operations by assembling multi-disciplinary professionals to develop consensus standards, guidelines and best practices for use by medicolegal, public health and emergency management practitioners. 

Officers | Members | Standards | Other Work Products

Officers

Kelly Keyes, Subcommittee Chair, RTI International

Shawn Wilson, Subcommittee Vice Chair, Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office (DVI TG member)

Michelle Rippy, Subcommittee Executive Secretary, California State University East Bay

Tiffany Williams, DVI TG Executive Secretary, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department

Members

Sam Butikofer, Madison County Office of the Coronor

Jason Byrd, University of Florida/Maples Center for Forensic Medicine (DVI TG member)

Matthew Cain, University of New Mexico, Forensic Consulting LLC, Goodfellas Consulting LLC

Adam Covach, Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner's Office

Nicole Croom, University of Washington & King County Medical Examiner's Office

Neha Desai, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (Quality Task Group representative)

Daniel Dye, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Brian Ehret, Onondaga County Office of the Medical Examiner

Benjamin Figura, West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center (DVI TG member)

Jan Gorniak, Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner

Katherine Grosso, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

Amy Hawes, TN Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner

Gene Hernandez, Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner

Bryan Hoffman, NJ Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner

Julie Howe, Franklin, Jefferson and Saint Charles Counties Medical Examiner Offices

Bryan Johnson, Federal Bureau of Investigation (DVI TG member)

Michelle Jorden, County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner

Laura Knight, Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office

Sarah Lathrop, University of New Mexico

Katherine Maloney, Erie County Medical Examiner's Office

Mary Jo (MJ) Menendez, Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (Legal Task Group representative)

Daniel Morgan, National Transportation Safety Board (DVI TG member)

Naeem Ullah, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (DVI TG member)

Victor Weedn, George Washington University, Department of Forensic Science (DVI TG member)

Jason Wiersema, Harris County Institute of Forensic Science (DVI TG member)

Medicolegal Death Investigation Affiliate List

Standards

On the OSAC Registry

OSAC Registry Ribbon
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 007, Postmortem Impression Submission Strategy for Comprehensive Searches of Essential Automated Fingerprint Identification System Databases. 2018. 1st. Ed. (added September 5, 2019).
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 008, Mass Fatality Scene Processing: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority. 2021. 1st. Ed. (added April 5, 2022).  
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 009, Best Practice Recommendations for the Examination of Human Remains by Forensic Pathologists in the Disaster Victim Identification Context. 2019. 1st. Ed. (added September 7, 2021).
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 010, Forensic Anthropology in Disaster Victim Identification: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority. 2018. 1st. Ed. (added September 5, 2019).
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 094, Postmortem Impression Recovery: Guidance and Best Practices for Disaster Victim Identification. 2021. 1st. Ed. (added April 5, 2022).
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 108, Forensic Odontology in Disaster Victim Identification: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority. 2021. 1st. Ed. (added October 4, 2022).
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 125, Organizational and Foundational Standard for Medicolegal Death Investigation. 2021. 1st. Ed. (added October 4, 2022).
  • OSAC 2021-N-0007, Media Communications Following a Mass Fatality Incident: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority (added August 3, 2021 and sent to ASB for further development and publication).
  • OSAC 2021-N-0008, Victim Accounting: Best Practice Recommendations for Medicolegal Authorities in Mass Fatality Management (added August 3, 2021 and sent to ASB for further development and publication).
  • OSAC 2022-N-0026, Medicolegal Death Investigation: Terms and Definitions (added September 6, 2022 and sent to ASB for further development and publication).
  • OSAC 2022-N-0020, Standard for Mass Fatality Incident Management (added January 5, 2023 and sent to ASB for further development and publication).
  • OSAC 2022-N-0027, Medicolegal Death Investigation Response to Death Locations and Incident Scenes: Best Practice Recommendations (added November 1, 2022 and sent to ASB for further development and publication.
  • OSAC 2023-N-0004, Standard for Interactions Between Medical Examiner, Coroner and all Other Medicolegal Death Investigation Agencies and Organ and Tissue Procurement Organizations and Eye Banks (added March 7, 2023 and sent to ASB for further development and publication). 
  • OSAC 2023-N-0022, Best Practice Recommendation for Communicating with Next of Kin during Medicolegal Death Investigations (added September 5, 2023).

Published by an SDO & Eligible for the OSAC Registry 

At an SDO for Further Development & Publication

  • OSAC 2021-N-0007, Media Communications Following a Mass Fatality Incident: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority (OSAC Proposed Standard on the Registry).
  • OSAC 2021-N-0008, Victim Accounting: Best Practice Recommendations for Medicolegal Authorities in Mass Fatality Management (OSAC Proposed Standard on the Registry).
  • OSAC 2022-N-0026, Medicolegal Death Investigation: Terms and Definitions (OSAC Proposed Standard on the Registry).
  • OSAC 2022-N-0020, Standard for Mass Fatality Incident Management (OSAC Proposed Standard on the Registry).
  • OSAC 2022-N-0027, Medicolegal Death Investigation Response to Death Locations and Incident Scenes: Best Practice Recommendations (OSAC Proposed Standard on the Registry).
  • OSAC 2023-N-0004, Standard for Interactions Between Medical Examiner, Coroner and all Other Medicolegal Death Investigation Agencies and Organ and Tissue Procurement Organizations and Eye Banks (OSAC Proposed Standard on the Registry). 
  • REVISION to ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 006, Best Practice Recommendations for DNA Analysis for Human Identification in Mass Fatality Incidents. 20xx. 2nd. Ed. 
  • REVISION to ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 007, Postmortem Impression Submission Strategy for Comprehensive Searches of Essential Automated Fingerprint Identification System Databases. 20xx. 2nd. Ed. 

Under Development

  • OSAC 2022-N-0021, Family Engagement Following a Mass Fatality Incident: Victim Information Center Best Practice Recommendations for Medicolegal Authorities.
  • OSAC 2022-S-0022, Standard for Disaster Victim Identification.
  • REVISION to ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 009, Best Practice Recommendations for the Examination of Human Remains by Forensic Pathologists in the Disaster Victim Identification Context. 20xx. 2nd. Ed.
  • Best Practice Recommendation for Assessment of a Decedent on Scene.
  • Best Practice Recommendations for Common Data Elements. 
  • Best Practice Recommendation for Deaths in Custody. 
  • Best Practice Recommendations for Fatality Management During a Pandemic. 
  • Mass Fatality Incident Data Management: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority.
  • Ethical Considerations in Disaster Victim Identification. 
  • Workload Limitations for Medicolegal Death Investigators.

Other Work Products

Research & Development Needs

Reference Documents

Discipline-Specific Bibliographies and Bibliographic References 

These documents may contain information to help forensic scientists, judges, lawyers, researchers, and other readers better understand the nature, scope, and foundations of the individual disciplines as currently practiced. The identification of these documents does not represent an endorsement by OSAC or NIST. Only standards that are posted on the OSAC Registry and Technical Guidance documents, are endorsed by OSAC. The referenced documents may be subject to copyright. Note: Subcommittee position statements or responses to data collections by the subcommittee do not necessarily represent the position of OSAC or NIST.

Accreditation, Certification, and Training:

Endorsement of External Documents:

Autopsy:

Critical Stress Management:

Supply of Forensic Pathologists:

Organ and Tissue Procurement:    

Media Relations:

Medicolegal Death Investigation Centers:

Next of Kin:

Workplace Locations:

Research:

Pathology Departments:

Created July 9, 2014, Updated November 3, 2023