(Received 25 January 1977; accepted 7 February 1977)
Published Online: October
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Patients who die from severe head injuries constitute a major reservoir of potential kidney donors, for such injuries usually occur in otherwise healthy individuals. Death from injury mandates a medical examiner's investigation, and jurisdiction over the body occurs at the moment of pronouncement of death. In Florida, when any person dies of criminal violence, by accident, by suicide, suddenly when in apparent good health, when unattended by a practicing physician or other recognized practitioner, in any prison or penal institution, in police custody, in any suspicious or unusual circumstances, by criminal abortion, by poison, by disease constituting a threat to public health, by disease, injury, or toxic agent from employment; or when a dead body is brought into the state without proper medical certification; or when a body is to be cremated, dissected, or buried at sea, the medical examiner shall determine the cause of death and shall make or have performed such examinations, investigations, and autopsies as he shall deem necessary . It is the duty of any person who becomes aware of such a death under the circumstances described above to report such death and circumstances immediately to the medical examiner .
Dade County medical examiner and professor of pathology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Coral Gables, Fla.
Assistant chief medical examiner of Dade County; assistant professor of pathology and assistant professor of epidemiology and public health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Coral Gables, Fla.
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