A regional center dedicated to excellence in public service by providing professional, scientific, and compassionate forensic death investigation services.
Location and Contact Information
Medical Examiner's Office
5901 N Lidgerwood St, Suite 24B
Spokane, WA 99208-1126
Phone: (509) 477-2296
Fax: (509) 477-6327
E-mail Form: Contact Us
Maps and Directions
The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office achieved the distinction of Accreditation by the National Association of Medical Examiners in April, 2004, was re-accredited in May of 2009 and accredited again in June of 2014. The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) is the national professional organization of forensic pathologists, physician medical examiners, medical death investigators, death investigation system administrators, and consultants who perform the official duties of medicolegal investigation of deaths of public interest in the United States. Most members work as Medical Examiners or Coroners. Accreditation is a rigorous process, and requires a lengthy inspection by an independent Medical Examiner appointed by the organization. The accreditation requirements are 30 pages long, and include 350 items covering things such as how many autopsies are performed each year, how specimens are labeled, death investigation protocols, etc. Of 2,342 death investigation systems in the United States, currently there are only 85 fully NAME accredited Medical Examiner/Coroner Offices. The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office is accredited until 2019. Please see the link to the NAME accreditation letter and report, NAME accreditation letter and report.
Responsibilities of a Medical Examiner System
- Determine the cause and manner of death
(Manner of death is one of 5 categories on a death certificate. Homicide, suicide, natural, accident and undetermined. Undetermined is used when the category is unknown or two categories can't be distinguished.)
- Perform investigations at the scene of death
- Identify the dead with a high degree of certainty using scientific forensic methods
- Identify and collect evidence properly
- Provide expert legal testimony in criminal and civil matters
- Recognize unsuspected homicides
- Exonerate the innocent
- Recognize dangerous features of consumer products and report those to federal government
- Treat grieving family members with compassion
- Prepare and plan for mass casualty incidents.
- Ensure the integrity, to the best of our ability, of the personal property of decedents.
- Provide for disposition of unclaimed, indigent citizens, according to state law
- Sign death certificates in all cases of unnatural death, and many cases of natural death