Request A Death Certificate
The Medical Examiner’s Office does not issue death certificates. Once our portion of the death certificate is completed, the original is sent to the funeral home for finalization and then forwarded to the Bureau of Vital Records to be filed with the State of Missouri.
When a family makes funeral arrangements, the funeral home will ask how many copies of the death certificate the family needs. The funeral home will then provide that number of death certificates to the family. If the family or another entity requires more copies or needs a copy at a future date, then they should contact the Bureau of Vital Records, which is part of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services:
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Bureau of Vital Records
P.O. Box 570
930 Wildwood Dr.
Jefferson City, MO 65102
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Request An Autopsy Report
If a party is requesting an autopsy report, we must receive that request in writing. Accepted methods of request include faxing or mailing to the address listed following this paragraph. The request must include the decedent’s full name and date of death. Be sure to include a fax number or address to which the autopsy report should be sent. There is no charge to request an autopsy report as this information is a matter of public record. Note, if a case is pending litigation, the records are not available. In general, it takes a minimum of 4-6 weeks to complete an autopsy report. In certain cases, additional tests may need to be performed which will delay completion of the report for several additional weeks.
Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office
660 E. 24th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
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Requesting Reports Other Than The Autopsy Report
If a party wants to request any other documents from the case file such as the toxicology report or investigator’s summary, they must make the request in writing as outlined above. If the case is in litigation, a subpoena is required to request any documents from the case file. Charges apply per page or per case file. Please refer to the JCMEO Fee Schedule, below:
Fee Schedule (PDF)
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Forms For Reporting Deaths
For Official Agency Use Only: The following blank forms are available to be printed off for law enforcement agencies, nursing homes and hospice agencies to assist in gathering information that needs to be reported to the Jackson County Medical Examiners Office when a death occurs. Just click on the link and print the form off for your use. After gathering the information on the intake form, law enforcement can report the death by calling (816) 881-6600 and speaking with the on-duty death investigator. For non-injury deaths, nursing homes and hospice agencies can fill out their forms and fax the form to (816) 404-1345. If the death is injury-related, please call the death in to the on-duty investigator at (816) 881-6600.
The following forms identified will be used by the appropriate agencies:
General Death Reporting Form (PDF)
Child Death Reporting Form (PDF)
Nursing Home Death Reporting Form (PDF)
Hospice Death Reporting Form (PDF)
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Organ and Tissue Donation
At the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office, one of our goals is to facilitate organ and tissue donation for the benefit of the family and the community.
For example, if an individual has a serious head injury and meets brain death criteria, he/she may be a candidate for organ donation. Examples of current organ recoveries are whole hearts, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and liver.
If an individual has died, they are eligible for tissue donation only within 24 hours after the time death. Examples of tissues recovered are skin (split and full thickness) for burn patients, long bones (tibia, fibula, femur, humerus, and pelvic bones) for total and partial bone replacement surgery, tendons (achilles, anterior and posterior tibialis, and knee ligaments) for reconstruction of torn tendons, vascular tissues (heart valves, saphenous and femoral veins) for vascular repair, and corneas for whole cornea replacement.
In hopes of facilitating this lifesaving contribution to society, it is our policy at the Jackson County Medical Examiner to call an organ procurement organization on every death reported to our jurisdiction.
After the organ/tissue procurement organization receives the information about the individual who has recently died, they then may approach the family about donation. If an individual has a signed driver’s license indicating that he wishes to be a donor, surprisingly this is not the final say. The decision of organ and tissue donation is up to a first generation family member (husband, wife, children, or parents – i.e., next of kin).
If the family decides to donate, the organ/tissue procurement organization then will ask about a medical-social history. These questions will help to determine if the individual has possible infectious diseases. If the individual meets the organization’s criteria for donation, the Medical Examiner will be asked to grant permission for donation on cases under our jurisdiction. In all but the rarest of cases, donation does not interfere with the Medical Examiner’s duties. In those cases, extraordinary measures (such as the Medical Examiner attending the organ procurement to directly observe any pathology) will be taken to facilitate the family’s wishes to make the gift of life.
Please refer to the following web sites for further information on donation.
American Association of Tissue Banks www.AATB.org
Midwest Transplant Network www.mwtn.org
Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation www.mtf.org
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All media requests must be submitted to the County Public Information Officer at (816) 881-3271.
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