445:10-1-4. Unattended death (a) A deceased person must be under the care of a licensed medical or osteopathic physician for the natural disease process to which he has succumbed, otherwise, the death is a medical examiner case. Each case will vary and no hard and fast rule can be stated concerning the determination of whether a deceased was under medical care. Each case must be considered individually, but in general, the deceased should have a licensed medical or osteopathic physician assuming responsibility for their medical care within the last two weeks to thirty day antemortem.
(b) There sometimes exists confusion concerning deaths in nursing homes. In many instances the dead person has not been seen physically by the physician in charge for a variable period. The physician has issued orders via telephone concerning the patient. Such deaths are considered "attended" since the physician assumes responsibility for the care and treatment of the individual. Whether or not he physically see the patient is a matter between the patient and/or the patient's family and himself. Such cases should not be accepted by the medical examiner for investigation unless the death was due to unnatural means.