The medical examiner‘s office must keep complete indexed records of all deaths investigated, containing all relevant information concerning the death and the autopsy report, if made. Any prosecuting attorney or law enforcement officer may secure copies of these records or information necessary for the performance of his official duties. Copies of such records or information must be furnished upon request to any party to whom the cause of death is a material issue.

Reports of post-mortem examinations, autopsies, copies of records, photographs, laboratory findings, and reports in the office of the county medical examiner when duly attested by the medical examiner or his assistant must be received as evidence in any court or other proceedings for any purpose for which the original could be received without any proof of the official character of the person whose name is signed thereto.

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 17-5-280

  • Autopsy: means the dissection of a dead body and the removal and examination of bone, tissue, organs, and foreign objects for the purpose of determining the cause of death and manner of death. See South Carolina Code 17-5-5
  • Cause of death: refers to the agent that has directly or indirectly resulted in a death. See South Carolina Code 17-5-5
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Laboratory: means a laboratory containing facilities for the scientific detection and identification of physical evidence connected with crimes and causes of death and other examinations of tissue, chemical substances, and gases that contribute to the health and well-being of all people. See South Carolina Code 17-5-5
  • Medical examiner: means the licensed physician or pathologist designated by the county medical examiner's commission pursuant to Article 5 of this chapter for the purpose of performing post-mortem examinations, autopsies, and examinations of other forms of evidence required by this chapter. See South Carolina Code 17-5-5