445:10-1-5. Establishing a hospital death as a medical examiner case; autopsies (a) Title 63 OS, Section 938 is specific as to which human deaths are subject to the investigation of the medical examiner. The attending physician is responsible for notification of the medical examiner. He must not request permission for autopsy from the next of kin until the medical examiner is notified and has made a decision as to whether or not an autopsy is required in accord with provisions of Title 63 OS, Section 944. If the medical examiner case is not to be subjected to autopsy in accord with these provisions, the attending physician may then request permission for a private autopsy from the appropriate individual. The medical examiner still has responsibility for investigation and certification of such cases.
(b) Deaths which are not bona fide medical examiner cases are not made such simply because autopsy permission has been refused by the next of kin, nor shall any authentic medical examiner case be withheld from medical examiner jurisdiction and autopsied by the hospital pathologist merely because private autopsy permission from the next of kin or responsible person has been obtained.
(c) If during performance of a private autopsy by a hospital pathologist the finding (e.g. death related to trauma or poisoning) indicate that the case should properly be a medical examiner case, the pathologist shall immediately discontinue the autopsy and notify the medical examiner of his findings.