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National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003)


Regulations Regarding the Rendering of Forensic Pathology Service, 2018

3. Forensic Pathology Service


(1) The relevant Member of the Executive Council of a province must, within national policy and in terms of these Regulations, ensure that a Forensic Pathology Service is established and managed within the Department.


(2) The Service contemplated in sub-regulation (1) includes, but is not limited to—
(a) where appropriate, commencing with a scene of death investigation in consultation with the investigating officer and or appropriate South African Police Service member who is on the scene, which includes but is not limited to, taking notes, questioning family and other witnesses, examining the death scene and photographing the deceased or any exhibit or specimens;
(b) obtaining any information that is relevant to the medico-legal investigation of a death, including medical and social history, records, as well as taking witness statements;
(c) taking responsibility for the collection of a body and its removal from the scene;
(d) taking responsibility for the custody of a body from the scene of death until released for burial or cremation, and the processes attached thereto;
(e) taking into custody, thoroughly documenting and maintaining evidence and specimens relating to a body and any associated items or articles at all times;
(f) assisting, as far as is possible, with the process of identification of the deceased;
(g) conducting a post mortem investigation, including external and internal examination of a body and retaining of material, tissue or fluids for evidentiary or diagnostic purposes;
(h) requesting and conducting appropriate special investigations;
(i) providing medico-legal reports, chain of custody statements, expert testimony and opinions;
(j) archiving documents, specimens and related materials;
(k) collecting, reviewing and analysing related data; and
(l) providing information and advice to health or other government authorities or departments.