Report A Death
Chapter 49.25 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires that the following deaths “shall immediately” be reported to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
- When a person dies within 24 hours of admission to the facility (time starts at triage).
- When any person is killed or dies a non-natural death no matter how long they have been hospitalized (suspected Accidents / Homicides / Suicides).
- When a body is found and the cause and circumstances of the death are unknown.
- Any suicide (regardless of the length of time hospitalized).
- When the patient dies without being attended by a physician and the cause of death is unknown.
- Any child death under six years of age regardless of how long they have been hospitalized.
Preparing to Report a Death to the Medical Examiner
- Have the patient chart in front of you. Face sheet or patient demographics are needed first.
- Know the decedent’s terminal diagnosis, medical history and reason for admission.
- Have next-of-kin or emergency contact information available.
- Be ready with details such as where the patient came from and how the incident occurred.
- The Medical Examiner’s Office does not store, embalm or cremate bodies. We are a science facility that performs forensic examinations. There is no county or city morgue.
- The Medical Examiner’s Office does not perform medical autopsies or exams upon request. Private exams are organized and paid for by the families or facilities through private contractors, not Tarrant County.
- It is a Class B Misdemeanor (up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000 fine) to interfere with an inquest authorized by Texas law.
This downloadable Reporting Deaths Flyer contains the above information on the types of deaths that need to be reported, what information is needed when reporting a death, as well as contact information for the Tarrant County Medical Examiner District offices.