The investigation of a death by the Coroner's Office is an extremely important, and often unrecognized, function. The Coroner's Office is an independent agency that does not work for a law enforcement agency, the prosecution or defense, or a treating physician, hospital, or care center. The Coroner's Office works on behalf of the deceased to obtain the truth about their death.
A Forensic Pathologist is a medical doctor with special training and experience in forensic pathology, who is actively engaged in medicolegal autopsies and death investigation. Medicolegal examinations (autopsies) are performed by licensed Forensic Pathologists in order to provide a medical opinion on the cause, manner, and mechanism of disease, injury, and death; to aid in the identification of unknown persons; to identify and preserve significant biological and physical evidence; and to correlate and/or reconstruct wounds, wound patterns and wound sequences. Forensic Pathologists apply their training and experience to the arenas of public health, public safety, quality assurance, education, research, and jurisprudence, with the ultimate goal of developing strategies to prevent disease, injury, and death.