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White Paper – Information Sharing Between Medicolegal Death Investigators And Toxicology Testing Services

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2023
2 pages

This brief provides recommendations for information sharing between medicolegal death investigators and toxicology laboratories in death investigations.


This publication outlines priority recommendations for medicolegal death investigators and toxicology laboratories to ensure the best possible U.S. death investigation outcomes. From 1999 to 2021, more than 1 million people in the United States died from a drug intoxication, with 106,699 occurring in 2021 alone. Drug intoxication deaths—from pharmaceutical or illicit drugs—are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the U.S. Medicolegal death investigation offices work with toxicology laboratories to identify substances that may be relevant in establishing a decedent’s cause and manner of death. It is imperative to proactively establish cooperative relationships and information sharing to ensure the best possible outcome for families, health care organizations, toxicology testing services, MDIs, and other key data users. 

Date Published: December 1, 2023