Forensic Medicine Division
The Forensic Medicine Division (FMD) of the Health Sciences Authority is the national provider of forensic medical consultancy services in the examination of Coroner's cases. FMD is staffed by a strong team of highly qualified forensic pathologists and supporting staff.
The death investigation system in Singapore requires that all deaths, which occur suddenly without a known cause or are suspected to be due to unnatural causes, be reported to the Coroner. FMD advises the State Coroner as to whether an autopsy would be recommended in the determination of the cause of death and documentation of injuries. If an autopsy is authorised, FMD would proceed to carry out the necessary examinations at the Mortuary@HSA to provide further inputs into the investigation of the death. The findings at the autopsy become part of the evidence adduced subsequently in Coroner's Inquiries and criminal trials. These findings are also used in hospital mortality rounds and internal inquiries as well as in Singapore Medical Council Disciplinary hearings.
The autopsy service is also extended to private clients in non-Coroner's cases, such as deaths in international waters. During the SARS outbreak in 2003, FMD's expertise was called upon to assist in the recovery of biological material to facilitate diagnosis and understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease. Our forensic consultancy services (including autopsy work) have also been provided to our clients in regional countries.
Our pathologists also attend crime scenes, in support of scene investigation by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in homicides and suspicious deaths. We work closely with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
In addition, FMD offers clinical forensic medical consultations, by transferring and applying its professional expertise gained in understanding trauma and injury in the dead, to the living cases on subjects of violence resulting from child abuse, sexual offences and spousal abuse.
As part of our one-stop service to next-of-kin, it acts as an agent of the Registry of Births and Deaths, providing the death certification services for Coroner's cases.