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Calendar of Events
League to Sponsor Bill to Establish Medico-Legal Investigative Dept.
From "The National Voter"
Unit Discussion Meetings in April
Open Board Meeting
Welcome, New Member
Turn on Your TV
Board Members and Chairmen Note!
Your Special Attention Called
Local Agenda Item
Proposed Budget LWV April 1, 1957 to March 31, 1958

League to Sponsor Bill to Establish Medico-Legal Investigative Department

The League committee on the Coroner's Office has prepared a bill to replace this office with a medico-legal investigative department in the city-county government, and expects to have the bill introduced in the Legislature within a week.

The study of the Coroner's Office has been carried on by the League for the past three years. and at the 1956 annual meeting it was placed on the agenda as a "continuing responsibility." This study has culminated in a decision to take legislative action.

In brief, the bill calls for a department headed by a physician trained in pathology with basic schooling in problems of legal medicine, an assistant medical examiner and such staff and specialists as may be deemed necessary. This medico-legal investigative system is based on the model recommended by the National Municipal League.

The bill lists the types of deaths to be investigated and the duties of the medical examiner in relation to investigation, autopsies, records, handling property of the deceased, and to administering oaths and taking affidavits. The bill transfers all the powers and duties of the Coroner's Office to the new department.

This bill has been reviewed by the Charter Commission and has its approval. A special meeting was held with funeral directors in order to gain their viewpoints and support. A number of officials have been consulted for suggestions and corrections. The bill has been checked by the Legislative Reference Bureau.

Massachusetts replaced coroners with medical examiners in 1877; in 1918 New York City abolished elective coroners. Other states and counties are following this trend. We hope that Honolulu will be among them.

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