Title 26 Chapter 4 Section 2

Utah Health Code
Utah Medical Examiner Act
Section 2


26-4-2.   Definitions.

            As used in this chapter:

            (1) "Dead body" is as defined in Section 26-2-2.

            (2) "Death by violence" means death that resulted by the decedent's exposure to physical, mechanical, or chemical forces, and includes death which appears to have been due to homicide, death which occurred during or in an attempt to commit rape, mayhem, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, housebreaking, extortion, or blackmail accompanied by threats of violence, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to commit any offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, arson punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, or any attempt to commit any of the foregoing offenses.

            (3) "Medical examiner" means the state medical examiner appointed pursuant to Section 26-4-4 or a deputy appointed by the medical examiner.

            (4) "Regional pathologist" means a trained pathologist licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the state, appointed by the medical examiner pursuant to Subsection 26-4-4(3).

            (5) "Sudden death while in apparent good health" means apparently instantaneous death without obvious natural cause, death during or following an unexplained syncope or coma, or death during an acute or unexplained rapidly fatal illness.

            (6) "Sudden infant death syndrome" means the death of a child who was thought to be in good health or whose terminal illness appeared to be so mild that the possibility of a fatal outcome was not anticipated.

            (7) "Suicide" means death caused by an intentional and voluntary act of a person who understands the physical nature of the act and intends by such act to accomplish self-destruction.

            (8) "Unattended death" means the death of a person who has not been seen by a physician within the scope of the physician's professional capacity within 30 days immediately prior to the date of death. This definition does not require an investigation, autopsy, or inquest in any case where death occurred without medical attendance solely because the deceased was under treatment by prayer or spiritual means alone in accordance with the tenets and practices of a well-recognized church or religious denomination.

            (9) (a) "Unavailable for postmortem investigation" means that a dead body is:

            (i) transported out of state;

            (ii) buried at sea;

            (iii) cremated; or

            (iv) otherwise made unavailable to the medical examiner for postmortem investigation or autopsy.

            (b) "Unavailable for postmortem investigation" does not include embalming or burial of a dead body pursuant to the requirements of law.

            (10) "Within the scope of the decedent's employment" means all acts reasonably necessary or incident to the performance of work, including matters of personal convenience and comfort not in conflict with specific instructions.

Amended by Chapter 297, 2011 General Session