The Georgia Investigation Act

The Georgia Death Investigation Act

The Georgia Death Investigation Act (O.C.G.A. 45-16-20) requires that the coroner or the county medical examiner where the body was found or the death occurred be notified and that a medical examiner’s inquiry be made. In Georgia deaths that meet the following criteria are reportable to the coroner/medical examiner:

Violence (injury)
Casualty (accident)
Suddenly when in apparent good health
When unattended by physician (a PCP has not been located or refuses to sign the death certificate)
Suspicious or unusual
Children under 7 if death is unexpected or unexplained
Executions pursuant to death penalty
Inmate of state hospital or state, county, or city penal institution
Admitted to hospital unconscious and dying within 24 hours without regaining consciousness

The reporting and subsequent inquiries that are conducted into each of these reported deaths are done seven day a week, 24 hours a day, weekends and all holidays. The Medical Examiner will determine the need for an autopsy or other examination based on the information generated through initial investigation. An autopsy is not performed or needed on every death.