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Medical Examiner

Medical Examiner’s Function

Oregon State Law mandates that each county has a medical examiner to certify the cause and manner of deaths requiring investigation. The District Attorney shares in these duties and responsibilities.

The outcome of any death investigation may ultimately impact personal liberty and well-being, public health and safety, research capabilities, and governmental approaches to legislation and programs.

How the System Works

Benton County death investigators with extensive medical backgrounds examine deceased individuals. Then the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office provides autopsy and toxicology services, and signs death certificates for Benton County.


The primary mission of the medical examiner is to gather information to accurately certify manner and cause of death.

Manner of DeathCause of Death
Based on cause and circumstance:    
•  Natural
    •  Accidental
    •  Suicide
    •  Homicide
    •  Undetermined
Based on mechanism;
the specific disease
or injury which led to death

Additional duties of the Medical Examiner include:

  • Help to accurately identify the deceased.
  • Help with locating and notifying family members of the deceased.
  • Document and preserve evidence related to death.
  • Provide training to medical and criminal justice professionals

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Benton County Medical Examiner

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