What we do
The Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO) determines the cause and manner of death for sudden, unexpected, and unnatural deaths in Philadelphia. Our doctors, scientists, and technicians work with the Philadelphia Police Department to investigate these deaths.
Seven units contribute specific information to individual cases.
- Forensic Anthropology helps identify the deceased.
- Forensic Investigation determines if a death comes under the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiner and investigates the circumstances surrounding the death.
- Forensic Odontology evaluates bite marks and uses dental records to identify the deceased.
- Forensic Technician coordinates the intake, release, and transportation of the deceased.
- Histology prepares tissue slides for microscopic analysis.
- Pathology determines both the cause and manner of death in every case that the Medical Examiner handles.
- Toxicology Laboratory analyzes postmortem specimens for drug abuse, prescription drugs, and poisons.
Support and review units
- Bereavement Support provides crisis intervention and support services to families who have lost a loved one.
- Fatality Review Program reviews the deaths of selected vulnerable populations to better understand the factors that contributed to the deaths.