Death Investigation: Systems and Procedures

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CRC Press, Apr 19, 2016 - Law - 184 pages
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Death Investigation: Systems and Procedures is the first book dedicated to the topic of death investigation from a legal standpoint as well as the administrative and operational procedures that pertain to the medical examiner and the coroner system in the United States. Unique in its perspective, this book is the only one not concerned with instructing on investigatory conduct, autopsy procedure, pathology, or the solving of crimes. Instead, it explains the concepts and principles of death investigation established by governments, and outlines the legal and administrative steps that must be taken throughout the case.

Beginning with an introduction to the basic types of death investigation, the text explains the circumstances and statutory basis for death investigation systems. The author provides specific details about the role of coroners, medical examiners, and other forensic scientists and personnel who may officially be a part of the investigation. The overall goals of the investigations are included along with case studies and examples illustrating the procedures used in each type. The author also adds a brief summary of the specific system employed by each state. A considerable portion of the book is devoted to practical considerations such as the contents of the autopsy report, the death certificate, principles and issues related to evidence and expert witnesses, as well as a description of a typical day at a medical examiner's or coroner's office.

Well referenced with websites and sources of further information, Death Investigation: Systems and Procedures provides a comprehensive, concise procedural reference to students and professionals including lawyers, crime scene technicians, and anyone who works with death investigation data, or within the death investigation systems in the United States.
 

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Contents

1 Why Know about Death Investigation?
3
2 What Is a Death Investigation?
7
3 Basic Types of Death Investigation
11
4 Public Health Death Investigations
13
5 Who Actually Performs Death Investigations?
17
6 The State and Local Nature of Medicolegal Death Investigation
21
7 Where Are Death Investigations Conducted?
25
8 How Death Investigations Are Funded
29
Part VI Special Circumstances
99
24 What about Mass Fatality Incidents?
101
25 Deaths on Indian Reservations or Federal Property
103
Part VII Other Death Investigation Topics
104
26 Who May Give Permission for an Autopsy?
107
27 The Autopsy Report
109
28 The Death Certificate
113
29 Exhumations
119

Part II More on the PeopleWho Investigate
31
9 Forensic Pathologists
33
10 Coroners
35
11 Medical Examiners
41
12 Death Investigators
45
13 Who Controls the Scene of Death?
47
14 Forensic Scientists
49
Part III Goals of Death Investigations
55
15 Basic Goals of Medicolegal Death Investigation
57
16 Goals of Institution Based and Private Death Investigations
59
Part IV Examples of Death Investigations by Type
61
17 A Typical Institution Based Death Investigation
63
18 A Typical Private Death Investigation
69
19 A Typical Medicolegal Death Investigation
73
The Rake Analogy
79
Part V Specific Features of Medicolegal Death Investigations
83
21 What Types of Deaths Are Reportable to the Medical Examiner or Coroner?
85
22 Examples of Medicolegal Death Investigation Systems
87
23 Types of Medicolegal Death Investigation by State
89
30 Death Investigation and Funeral Arrangements
121
31 Principles of Evidence
123
32 What Is an Expert?
127
33 What If You Disagree?
129
34 Death Investigation and Insurance Policies
131
35 Classic Dilemmas in Death Investigation
133
36 Professional Death Investigation Organizations
137
37 Access to Death Investigation Information
141
38 Pronouncement of Death
143
39 Deaths in Custody and Public Institutions
145
40 Criminal and Civil Law Issues
147
41 Sample Autopsy Report
149
42 A Day at the Medical Examiner8217s Office
157
Further Reading
161
Useful Web Sites
163
Index
165
Back cover
171
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