Physician Responsibilities



It is UTMB policy that an autopsy is requested on all non-medico-legal inpatient deaths (IHOP 9.15.2).

When there is a death, the pronouncing physician is responsible for completing the following:

Document death note in EPIC:
  • Date and time of death
  • Cause of death
  • Completing the Form 5012

    Section 1

    Determines whether the Galveston County Medical Examiner has jurisdiction over the death and if so contact the Galveston County Medical Examiner office (see Reportable Death Section)

    Section 2

    TDCJ Deaths - If the physician is interested in an autopsy see TDCJ Death. Otherwise notify the TDCJ Chaplain office, ext 26191, or TDCJ communications, ext. 26108.

    Section 3

    Determine the legal next-of-kin

    Section 4

    Discuss autopsy with families and complete the autopsy consent. UTMB offers autopsies for all inpatient deaths. The pronouncing physician is responsible for discussing autopsy procedures with the legal next-of-kin, either in person or by phone. They are responsible for obtaining written consent when the legal next-of-kin is present and agrees to the procedure. If the legal next-of-kin cannot be contacted or are not present to sign the consent, send the body to the UTMB Autopsy Service morgue.
    The physician is to then check the appropriate box in section 4 indicating the outcome of the discussion with the legal next-of-kin and sign next to the appropriate statement.

    Section 5

    Disposition of the body - Discuss funeral home release with the next-of-kin. If unavailable the physician may obtain telephone authorization for the disposition. Document on the Form 5012 whether disposition arrangement has been determined.

    Section 6

    Checklist Print name and pager number of physician to be notified before autopsy.

    On-line Death Certification

    See instructions for on-line death certification (www.TERDeath.Texasvsu.org)

    REMEMBER: the pronouncing physician is responsible for completing the death certificate on TER.

    Autopsy Service
    Contact Information

    518 Clinical Sciences Building
    Phone: x22810 - Fax: x29045

    Hours of Operation
    Monday thru Friday
    7:30am to 4:00pm
    Closed on weekends and holidays

    Autopsy Service
    Administrative Office


    509 Clinical Sciences Building
    Phone: x22859 - Fax: x29045

    Hours of Operation
    Monday thru Friday
    8:00am to 4:30pm
    Closed on weekends and holidays

    Preliminary Autopsy Reports
    Phone: x22859

    AUTHORIZATION FORMS

    ED Form 5012
    Form 5012