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Scope of Services

The Shelby County Medical Examiner is required by the "Post Mortem Examination Act" (Tennessee Code Annotated), Sections 38-7-101 through 38-7-116) to investigate certain types of deaths occurring in Shelby County and to keep records on investigations and examinations of all such deaths.

In this way, the medical and legal circumstances of a death can be properly documented and provisions can be made for the completion of a Tennessee Death Certificate. The primary goals of the "Post Mortem Examination Act" are as follows:

  • to detect unsuspected homicides;
  • to protect the health of the community;
  • to clarify workmen compensation claims, insurance claims, and civil lawsuits;
  • to provide more accurate vital statistics.

The types of death reported to The West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center include, but are not limited to, the following: Homicides, Suicides, Drowning, Electrocutions and Lightning; Transportation related (MVA) , Home and Industrial Accidents, Poisonings, In-Custody Deaths in Prison or Jails, Aircraft Accidents, Falls, Burns and Scalds, Freezing or Exposure, Suddenly when no obvious serious disease is present, as well as any "Delayed Death" following treatment and or hospitalization for traumatic injuries.

The West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center provides vital information that is needed by the family of the deceased, Public Health Department, law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office and many other agencies.

Comprehensive investigations include selected death scene visits, postmortem examinations and/or autopsy with photographic and narrative documentation of various medical evidence, toxicology and serology, x-rays, and consultation in anthropology, odontology, or other specialties as needed.

In addition, the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center is responsible for the preparation of various reports and other documentation related to an individual's death, and subsequent expert medical testimony in judicial proceedings. This office is also actively involved in the training of area law enforcement personnel, medical institutions, and other interest groups.

Service Areas

Current Counties Served

  • Shelby, Tipton, Lauderdale, Dyer, Lake, Obion, Weakley, Gibson, Crockett, Haywood, Fayette, Hardeman, McNairy, Hardin.
  • We also work with MS, AR, MO, and KY Coroners on cases originating their jurisdictions.

county map 

May 26, 2022