Medical Examiner

About the Department
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s (FCME) office strives to safeguard public well-being, public safety, and public health. The office is fully accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners.
The main purpose of the FCME is to determine the cause and manner of death, and to clarify the circumstances surrounding death. The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office performs autopsies and other postmortem examinations as an important part of the death investigation process.
The geographical coverage of the FCME is Fulton County, including all incorporated and unincorporated areas within it. If a death otherwise meets the legal criteria for investigation by a medical examiner, the FCME investigates deaths that result from incidents which occurred in Fulton County, or, if the place of the incident is unknown, deaths in which a dead body is found in Fulton County.

Key Performance Indicators

This KPI measures the percentage of autopsy reports on all Medical Examiner Cases where an autopsy is performed which are finalized within 90 calendar days of the completion of the autopsy. The creation of an autopsy report begins when the physician in charge of the forensic examination dictates his or her findings electronically. The electronic dictation is then transcribed into a written report draft which is reviewed and corrected by the physician. The final report is then typed and subsequently finalized and signed by the physician. Once signed, the autopsy report becomes the official document of the results and findings of the forensic medical examination.

This KPI measures the percentage of death investigation scenes that are responded to by Medical Examiner Investigators within forty-five (45) minutes of notification of the death. Not all death reports to the Medical Examiner require a scene visit. This KPI applies only to death scenes where an Investigative response is required. Death scene notifications are received by the Medical Examiner's Office primarily by telephone call and responses originate from the location of that Office in downtown Atlanta. Geographical locations for response include all areas within the physical boundaries of Fulton County. Scene responses are made via official County vehicles marked with the Medical Examiner's insignia and equipped with emergency lights and audible signal.

The body of a deceased must be held at the Medical Examiner's Center (located on Pryor Street just south of downtown Atlanta) long enough to complete an examination or autopsy and take physical evidence. The body can then be released to the funeral home chosen by the family even if the cause and manner of death have not yet been determined. The goal of the Medical Examiner is to release 90 percent of bodies within 48 hours from the time they are received.

This KPI measures the percentage of public records requests for autopsy reports satisfied within two (2) business days of the completion of the report. Requests for autopsy reports are most often received from: the next of kin of the deceased, law enforcement, the courts, the press, hospitals and members of the general public. Autopsy reports prepared by medical examiner offices in Georgia are considered public records and are subject to release under the Georgia Open Records Act: Article 4 of Chapter 18, Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. The autopsy report is complete when finalized and signed by the physician in charge of the forensic medical investigation of the deceased.

This KPI measures the percentage of autopsy reports on all Medical Examiner Cases where the manner of death is classified as a Homicide which are finalized within 60 calendar days of the completion of the autopsy. The creation of an autopsy report begins when the physician in charge of the forensic examination dictates his or her findings electronically. The electronic dictation is then transcribed into a written report draft which is reviewed and corrected by the physician. The final report is then typed and subsequently finalized and signed by the physician. Once signed, the autopsy report becomes the official document of the results and findings of the forensic medical examination. The classification of a death as a Homicide occurs when the death arises as a result of the action(s) of another person

For the customer service survey, the Medical Examiners office targets external customers who visited the department of received services. The survey is administered via email and on the department's website. The participants include Law enforcement agencies across Fulton County municipalities and local funeral homes. The survey is ongoing.