Title 45, Chapter 16, Section 22
(a) The director of the division is authorized and directed to
cooperate with and assist the peace officers in charge, medical
examiners, and coroners of the state in making the facilities of the
division available for the performing of medical examiners'
inquiries on dead bodies as required by this article.
(b) The county governing authority shall after consulting with the
coroner, if any, be authorized to appoint one or more local medical
examiners who shall be licensed physicians or pathologists. The
chief medical examiner may, at the request of a county governing
authority, authorize one or more licensed physicians or pathologists
at convenient locations throughout the state to act as local medical
examiners in performing medical examiners' inquiries as required by
this article. The chief medical examiner shall confer with local
county officials in making appointments of regional and local
medical examiners. Any regional or local medical examiner appointed
by the chief medical examiner shall have such jurisdiction within
this state as designated by the chief medical examiner.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in this article, it shall be in the
sole discretion of the medical examiner to determine whether or not
an autopsy or limited dissection is required; provided, however,
that the medical examiner shall give due consideration to the
opinions of the coroner and the peace officer in charge regarding
the requirements of accepted investigation techniques and the rules
of evidence applicable thereto.
(d) In the event that any local medical examiner or regional medical
examiner is unable or unwilling to serve in any case, the coroner or
the peace officer in charge may call upon the chief medical
examiner, who shall perform a medical examiner's inquiry or direct
another medical examiner to perform such inquiry.
(e) For each external examination so performed, in cases where limited dissection or autopsy of the body is not required, the medical examiner shall receive the fee set in accordance with the provisions of Code Section 35-3-151. The fee in each case is to be paid from funds of the county in which the act was committed; or, if the county in which the act was committed is unknown, the fee shall be paid from funds of the county in which the body was found. In the event the place in which the act was committed is not known but is later established, the county in which the act was committed shall be responsible for payment of fees incurred by the medical examiner. Subject to funds being appropriated or otherwise available for such purpose, the chief medical examiner shall provide transportation of the deceased person to the site of the autopsy, if such autopsy is to be performed by a state or regional medical examiner employed by the state, and to return the body to the county where the death occurred.
(f) When death occurs in a hospital as a direct result and
consequence of acts or events taking place in a county other than
the one in which such death occurs, the body shall be returned to
the county in which such acts or events took place. When a dead
body is found in a county in which the acts or events leading to
death did not occur, it shall be returned to the county in which the
acts or events did occur, if known. The coroner or local medical
examiner of the county in which such acts or events took place shall
assume jurisdiction and the medical examiner's inquiry, if any
performed, shall be paid for from funds of the county in which such
acts or events took place.
(g) In the event that a medical examiner's inquiry is performed by
the chief medical examiner or an employee thereof, no fee therefor
shall be imposed pursuant to this Code section. In the event that a
medical examiner's inquiry is performed by a medical examiner
regularly employed at a fixed compensation by any county or group of
counties, no fee shall be imposed upon any county or group of
counties employing that medical examiner at a fixed compensation.
(h) Any person holding office as a medical examiner pursuant to an
appointment of the state medical examiner on May 1, 1997, shall
continue in the exercise of his or her functions and duties until
such person's successor has been duly appointed.