The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Coroner's Court of Victoria are both located at 65 Kavanagh Street in Southbank, a purpose built laboratory, mortuary and court facility.
The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Act 1985 (Vic) and the Coroners’ Act 2008 (Vic) provide the legislative structure that directs how medico-legal death investigations are carried out in Victoria.
Everyday 15 to 25 deaths are reported to the coroner, each requiring specialist forensic medical assessment. Our forensic pathologists provide Coroners with expert advice concerning the medical cause of death including; the patients’ medical history, the circumstances of death including the appropriateness of medical care, medical procedures and drug effects and of course the results of post mortem examinations and laboratory tests. We also provide expert interpretation of post-mortem CT scans, the results of toxicology tests, microbiology tests and histopathology examinations. Our forensic pathologists and nurses also spend time with families helping them understand what happened to their loved one and addressing any family concerns, including any related family healthcare issues.
In cases where the identity of a deceased person is difficult to determine we provide forensic odontology reports regarding dental identification, as well as forensic anthropology reports in the identification of skeletal remains and molecular biology (DNA) reports to scientifically determine and individuals identity.
Our forensic entomology service assists with investigating how long a person might have been dead and the possible movement of deceased persons after death.
The forensic imaging team provides high quality digital photographs of case work which form part of the evidential record and allows another pathologist to review the original findings of the pathologist.
Today we employ radiographers and specialist radiologists to provide medical imaging studies in death investigations and opinions on post mortem CT scans, digital radiographs and CT angiograms. These imaging studies assist Coroners in planning the extent and nature of the investigation.