MISSION STATEMENT AND SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES:
It is the mission of the Sheboygan County Medical Examiner’s Office to provide professional death investigation into the deaths reportable to the Sheboygan County Medical Examiner’s Office as it is applicable to the Wisconsin State Statutes and make a determination into the cause and manner of death.
The Medical Examiner’s office investigates deaths in Sheboygan County that are reportable under Wisconsin Statutes 30.67, 346.71, 350, 155, 979.01 & 979.025. Some reasons for a Medical Examiner’s investigation would include all homicides, suicides, deaths following an accident or injury, deaths due to poisoning, deaths following abortion, deaths involving a motor vehicle, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle or boat, deaths with no physician in attendance in the past thirty days, deaths of a correctional inmate, deaths when after a reasonable time a physician cannot or will not sign the death certificate or in an emergency situation, deaths with unexplained, unusual or suspicious circumstances (including sudden unexplained death at any age), and deaths reportable under individual County Coroner/Medical Examiner policies.
The investigation process includes but is not limited to visual & physical examination of the deceased and the surroundings, the pronouncement or confirmation of the death of an individual, establishing the date and time of death, review of medication present and usage, review of medical history, identifying any recent changes in health or physical conditions, and obtaining information by speaking with family members, nursing staff and physicians, as well as neighbors, witnesses or law enforcement.
In deaths where law enforcement is involved, it is a collaborative effort of sharing investigation findings and knowledge. In some death investigations, more information is needed before a cause and manner of death can be made. An autopsy may be done and toxicology studies may be required to determine what kind and how much of certain medication is present in a person’s system. X-rays may be taken to determine if there are broken bones or if any foreign objects are present and the location. There are other tests available for specific inquiries.