Order death documents related to an investigation

How to order documents related to an Office of the Chief Medical Examinter (OCME) investigation of a death.

Overview

The OCME issues specific documents related to a death investigation.

The OCME can't issue death certificates.

To get a death certificate, you must order it through a registry agent.

Types of documents issued

Depending on the type of post-mortem examination or paper-based file review that the OCME medical examiner does, a number of different documents may be issued:

  • Certificate of Medical Examiner
  • External Examination Report
  • Summary Autopsy Report
  • Detailed Scientific Autopsy Report
  • Toxicology Report

Note: All these documents may not be available for your specific case file.

Certificate of Medical Examiner

This document is often required by institutions such as banks, insurance companies and legal firms to settle deceased’s claims and other dispositions.

This gives the deceased’s name, sex and age, plus these details about their death:

  • date of death
  • place of death
  • cause of death
  • manner of death
  • brief description of circumstances

The Certificate of Medical Examiner is similar but different than these documents:

  • Death Certificate
  • Attending Physician Statement (not filled out by the OCME)

External Examination Report

When a medical examiner does an external examination of the deceased, a written record is made of the findings.

Autopsy examination documents

When a medical examiner performs an autopsy on the deceased, 2 documents are always produced:

  • Summary Autopsy Report
    • describes the autopsy’s findings and conclusions in plain language
  • Detailed Scientific Autopsy Report
    • describes the autopsy’s findings and diagnostic conclusions with medical terminology

Toxicology Report

When toxicology tests are done on the deceased, a written record is made of the findings.

The deceased’s next of kin or an authorized third party can request documents relevant to the deceased’s OCME case file. If you’re unsure which documents are available for your case file, contact the medical investigator or the records unit at the OCME office where the investigation was done.

Cost

Document requested Availability Cost
Certificate of Medical Examiner All cases $15 per copy
Detailed Autopsy Report* Autopsy only $40 per copy
Summary Autopsy Report Autopsy only $15 per copy
External Examination Report External only $15 per copy
Toxicology Report If performed $20 per copy

*Includes the Summary Autopsy Report and Toxicology Report if toxicology testing was performed.

Eligibility

You can order a death-related document from the OCME if you're:

  • next-of-kin
  • an authorized third party (for example, insurance company)
    • next-of-kin or a personal representative of the estate must give permission for a third party to order death-related documents

How to order a document

Step 1. Fill out the form

If you're ordering a document as next of kin

Fill out the Request to Access Information form (PDF, 0.01 MB)

If you're ordering a document as an authorized third party

Fill out one of these forms:

Or

Get a written consent letter from the deceased's:

  • next of kin, or
  • personal representative

Step 2. Send the form and payment

If you're next of kin

Send the form with a cheque or money order payable to the Government of Alberta to:

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

7007 – 116 Street

Edmonton, AB T6H 5R8

If you're an authorized third party

Send these documents to an OCME office:

  • form or consent letter
  • cheque or money order payable to the Government of Alberta

Edmonton location:

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
7007 – 116 Street
Edmonton, AB T6H 5R8
780-427-4987
780-422-1265 (Fax)

Calgary location:

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
4070 Bowness Road NW
Calgary, AB  T3B 3R7
403-297-8123
403-297-3429 (Fax)