Sometimes when your loved one passes away in Florida, they will be sent to the Medical Examiner before they can be buried or cremated. This process with a medical examiner is incredibly important to the state of Florida if you are going to get a direct cremation in Florida. It can be nerve-wracking when your loved one is sent to the Medical Examiner, so we wanted to help guide families in Florida on some of the steps when they are sent to the medical examiner before your loved one is cremated in Florida.
When does the Medical Examiner Get Involved Before A Cremation in Florida?
When a death occurs in Florida, under certain circumstances, the Florida Medical Examiner will be involved. This will occur when a health care practitioner, police officer
or by others authority figures report a death as suspicious. Normally, these are the type of deaths that are traumatic, criminal, or suspicious in nature, or a result of suicide or drug overdose. This is specific to Florida Statue 406. Deaths that are considered unattended also fall under the medical examiner’s jurisdiction. Unattended deaths are deaths that occur to people that have not seen a doctor recently or died suddenly while appearing to be healthy. It is very important that if a family is going to choose a direct cremation in Florida, that the medical examiner approves it before it commences. If your loved one’s death falls under the circumstances above, the death must be reported to the medical examiner.
No matter if your loved one needs to be sent to the medical examiner in Florida or not, the medical examiner is involved with every cremation approval in the state of Florida. When we take your loved one in our care for Florida direct cremation, we must get the attending physician that oversaw your loved one to sign the death certificate. Then the death certificate is sent to the medical examiner to overlook and approve. A cremation cannot occur until the medical examiner approves of what the doctor said about your loved one’s cause of death. Sometimes, the Florida medical examiner will request more information from the doctor on the cause or death, or even sometimes the medical examiner will require the body be sent to them for further review.
For example, in both Sarasota and Manatee county there are specific county ordinances and fees for the Medical Examiner:
In accordance with Florida Statute 406.11, rule 11G of the Florida Administrative Code, and other rules and regulations of the state of Florida, all deaths in which the body is to be cremated must be investigated by the medical examiner and an approval number must be supplied to the funeral home or crematory prior to cremation. In support of this service, local ordinances # R-08-217 (Manatee County) and # 2008-083 (Sarasota County), require the payment of a cremation fee for bodies from Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The fees vary depending on the county. You can learn more here: https://www.fldist12me.com/funeral-homes-cremation/?fbclid=IwAR0bKa2GppDXue5cyxCg-z0BcM_j0CuHpg6x__ZaHBPkgLM_v5KdGsiaBn4
It is important when choosing a Florida direct cremation facility that you make sure they are competent in handling Medical Examiner cases. The Medical Examiner will not refer you to a facility, so it is best to look online for facilities that have good reviews and that have been around for many years. If a Florida direct cremation facility is not competent in dealing the medical examiner faculties, especially when it comes to autopsies, it could cause issues.
What occurs during a Medical Examiner’s investigation?
Medical examiner investigation starts with evaluation of the background information, medical history and circumstances leading up to death. In certain circumstances it may also include response by medical examiner personnel to the death scene. Medical examiner investigation also entails examination of the body, which includes examination of the clothing and personal effects and the external surfaces of the body. Autopsy is commonly, but not always, performed. In criminal cases, medical examiner personnel work with law enforcement officers in the collection of evidence from a body.
How long after the conclusion of the Medical Examiner’s Investigation, can they body be sent for a cremation?
In Florida, once the medical examiner has concluded their investigation, the direct cremation facility can pick up your loved one normally within the same day. Then generally within 72 hours the cremation will occur. In general, the whole Florida direct cremation will be concluded within 7-10 business days, when you will receive your loved ones cremated ashes.