|John A. Volpe
Table of Contents
WHEREAS, there is a need in the Commonwealth for a comprehensive program of medical investigation of violent death, accidental death, and unexplained death; and
WHEREAS, the incidence of violence has been increasing in this Commonwealth and across the nation; and
WHEREAS, there is a need to improve the methods of reporting and conducting research on the causes of death from all sources; and
WHEREAS, court decisions and legislation require maximum use of scientific methods and professional personnel in criminal investigation and prosecution,
NOW, THEREFORE, there is created a commission to be known as the Governor's Commission on the Medical Examiner System. The Commission shall be composed of ten members appointed by the Governor: three shall be duly appointed Medical Examiners in the Commonwealth; one shall be a representative of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth; one shall be a District Attorney; one shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Medical Society; one shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Bar Association; one shall be a Professor of Pathology at one of the Medical Schools in the Common- wealth; and two shall be chosen at large. The Governor shall select one of the members as Chairman of the Commission. The Commission shall serve without salary but may be reimbursed for travel expenses in attending meetings of the Commission. The Commission shall be supplied with necessary assistance in deliberations, holding hearings, conducting research, and in the expense of making its report to the Governor.
It shall be the duty of the Commission to investigate the current operations of the Medical Examiner system throughout the Commonwealth to determine the efficiency of the system, the qualifications and training of the professional personnel involved in the program, and the effectiveness of the current system in meeting its responsibilities in the medical-legal investigation of deaths in the Commonwealth and in reporting thereon to proper officials, law enforcement agencies, public health authorities, and the courts. The Commission shall have the authority to conduct investigations, to hold public hearings and to take testimony, and shall cooperate with the Governor's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice in its deliberations and investigations.
The Commission shall make recommendations concerning the quality of the Medical Examiner system in the Commonwealth; supporting services made available to medical examiners; training programs for medical examiners and associated personnel; training programs in scientific and medical investigation for law enforcement and judicial personnel and attorneys; the relationship between the medical examiner system and such other groups and organizations as the District Attorneys, the Department of the Attorney General, public health authorities, the medical community and hospitals, the Regional Medical Program and other health planning organizations, law enforcement organizations, and the judiciary; and such other recommendations of public concern as are determined by the Commission.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 20th day of September in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight and of the Independence of the United States of America, one hundred and ninety- third.
JOHN A. VOLPE
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
JOHN F. X. DAVOREN
Secretary of the Commonwealth