The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 56th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, which convenes in January 2023.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
11-593. Reporting of certain deaths; failure to report; violation; classification
A. Any person having knowledge of the occurrence of the death of a human being including a fetal death that is required to be reported pursuant to subsection B, of this section shall promptly notify the nearest peace officer of all information in the person's possession regarding the death and the circumstances surrounding it.
B. Reporting is required in the following circumstances:
1. Death when not under the current care of a health care provider as defined pursuant to section 36-301.
2. Death resulting from violence.
3. Unexpected or unexplained death.
4. Death of a person in a custodial agency as defined in section 13-4401.
5. Unexpected or unexplained death of an infant or child.
6. Death occurring in a suspicious, unusual or nonnatural manner, including death from an accident believed to be related to the deceased person's occupation or employment.
7. Death occurring as a result of anesthetic or surgical procedures.
8. Death suspected to be caused by a previously unreported or undiagnosed disease that constitutes a threat to public safety.
9. Death involving unidentifiable bodies.
C. The peace officer shall promptly notify the county medical examiner or alternate medical examiner and, except in deaths occurring as a result of surgical or anesthetic procedures, shall make or cause to be made an investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the death and report the results to the medical examiner or alternate medical examiner. If there is no county medical examiner or alternate medical examiner appointed and serving within the county, the county sheriff shall be notified by the peace officer and the sheriff shall in turn notify and secure a licensed physician having the qualifications of an alternate medical examiner to assume the powers and duties prescribed by section 11-594.
D. Every person who knows of the existence of a body where death occurred as specified in subsection A of this section and who knowingly fails to notify the nearest peace officer as soon as possible unless the person has good reason to believe that notice has already been given is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
E. If the deceased was under treatment for an accident or illness by prayer or spiritual means alone, in accordance with the tenets and practices of a well-recognized church or religious denomination, and death occurred without a physician or nurse practitioner in attendance, the person who has knowledge of the death shall report all information in the person's possession regarding the death and circumstances surrounding it directly to the county medical examiner or the alternate medical examiner who may waive an external examination or autopsy if the county medical examiner or alternate medical examiner is satisfied that the death of the person resulted from natural causes.
F. Each county shall provide to the department of public safety fingerprints of all deceased persons for whom the circumstances of death require an external examination or autopsy and whose deaths are required to be investigated pursuant to this section. These fingerprints shall be on a form provided by the department of public safety and shall be accompanied by any other information regarding the physical description and the date and place of death the department of public safety requires. Fingerprints taken pursuant to this section shall be used only for the purpose of purging criminal history files. All information and data in the department of public safety that are furnished in compliance with this section are confidential and may be disclosed only on written approval of the director of the department of public safety to the juvenile court, social agencies and public health and law enforcement agencies licensed or regulated by this state.