Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Novak, A. 2023. Nebraska’s Medico-Legal System: A Death Investigation Analysis. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Copyright Ashley Novak 2023.


A large part of the founding of the United States of America focused on the idea of state control over their internal affairs. For this reason, the United States is home to a largely decentralized medico-legal system. The State of Nebraska hosts a coroner-based death investigation system as is written into their legislation regarding the establishment of their medico-legal system. By studying legislation, federal and state reports, as well as publications by academics within the field, merits and weaknesses of the Nebraskan coroner system can be uncovered. Additional considerations and understandings that are needed to be understood include: understanding what the medico-legal system and death investigation pertain to, the roles and functions of medical examiners and coroners are, and the various medico-legal system types within the United States. The subject of this paper examines the effectiveness of the current system in Nebraska and offers critiques for improvement.

Key Words: Anthropology, Death Investigation, Medical Examiner, Coroner