In most states, the coroner and/or medical examiner has the responsibility to investigate the cause of death within their jurisdictions. Cases the medical examiner may choose for further investigation include those of a sudden, mysterious, unusual, or unnatural nature. Deaths with a possible public health danger, deaths in police custody or in prison, or violent death (including those resulting from motor vehicle crashes) are also medical examiner cases. Autopsy is usually performed in these cases and the family is informed. Organ donation may still be possible, in consultation with the medical examiner. 11 Prior to viewing of the body by the family, resuscitative lines and tubes must be left in place. Except in very unusual circumstances, such as homicide, the viewing of the deceased is still able to take place.
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