Deaths in Hospital and the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service

Last modified by Samantha DeLenardo on 2015/01/30 20:47


The IWK Health Centre heard from patients and families how difficult it was for them when their child’s death became a Medical Examiners (ME) Case … the rules that didn't allow touching, holding or cuddling their child one final time. The IWK worked for over a year with the ME and a family who had this experience to ‘lean the process’ and try to get it ‘right’ for other families. The work that has been done to create and clearly articulate this process to health care providers could be easily transferred to any healthcare setting in any province.

The presentation introduces the Flow Chart created to illustrate the process for Medical Examiner Cases originating from the IWK Health Centre.  The presentation also covers the case flow and decision making process of the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service, in order to provide context for the steps in the Flow Chart.     

Participants will learn: 

  • The steps in the process for a Medical Examiner Case originating as an in-hospital death in Nova Scotia; 
  • Medical Examiner responsibilities, jurisdiction and authority as directed by provincial (Nova Scotia) legislation; 
  • what types of deaths are legally required to be reported to the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service per provincial legislation; 
  • How the flow chart/process/decision making model may be extrapolated to other provinces or territories.



Marnie Wood MD FRCPC

Marnie Wood is originally from Amherst, Nova Scotia.  After getting her X-Ring, she obtained her Medical Doctorate and residency training in Pathology at Dalhousie University.  She then headed to Virginia for a fellowship in Forensic Pathology.  She returned in 2008 to begin practice as a Forensic Pathologist and Medical Examiner with the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service.  She very much enjoys the teaching part of her job, and has been appointed Assistant Professor in Pathology at Dalhousie University and Adjunct Professor in Forensic Sciences at Saint Mary’s University.  She has presented to undergraduates, medical students and medical residents, and at numerous conferences and courses for allied professionals.  When time allows, she heads to the cottage or checks a more distant destination off the “must see” list.  

Created by Lisa Stromquist on 2014/12/12 21:26