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The death certificate should be completed within five to six days of notification of the death. The death certification is given to the Medical Examiner's Office by the funeral home for completion so it is important that a funeral home be selected. Arrangements to obtain certified copies of the death certificate are handled for the family by the funeral home.
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Pursuant to Wisconsin State Statute 979.01, the Medical Examiner's Office is required to investigate deaths that fall into the noted categories on our Medical Examiner page.
An autopsy will be performed when there is a need to establish or confirm a cause and manner of death for the purpose of issuing a death certificate, in cases involving criminal or suspected criminal wrongdoing, and in any case in which an autopsy is considered to be prudent at the Medical Examiner's discretion.
The Medical Examiner's Office is not designed to accommodate viewing. Arrangements can be made at the funeral home for viewing.
There is no fee for the autopsy. One copy of the investigator's report, autopsy report, and toxicology report ( when applicable) will be made available to the nearest next-of-kin at no cost, once the case is closed. There is a per page charge for all subsequent requests.
Select a funeral home and advise the funeral director of the involvement of the Medical Examiner's Office. Funeral directors are familiar with the operation of our office, and will assist you in making all arrangements for final disposition, including obtaining the death certificate. The funeral director will also pick up the decedent's personal property that is not being held as evidence. Often the deceased will be released the next day from our facility.