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Criminal Justice - Determining the Cause of Death - Term Paper Example

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This paper "Criminal Justice - Determining the Cause of Death" examines the role of determination of the cause of death in the investigation of homicide cases, the sense of this activity in deciding the allocation of public funds for healthcare initiatives to step in issues of the public healthcare…
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Criminal Justice - Determining the Cause of Death
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Download file to see previous pages Investigation of death is a crucial component in American criminal justice system, which is based on the concept that no innocent person should be punished. Especially in the case of homicides, it is imperative to determine the cause of death so as to rule out natural or accidental death and to confirm the mode of death in order to conduct further investigations. Cause of death can be defined as a disease or an injury that has triggered the “train of morbid events” that have led directly to the demise or the circumstances or actions that directly contributed to the injury, leading to the death (Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook, 2003, p.11). Usually, the medical examiner or coroner is the official who owes the responsibility to determine the “cause, circumstances and manner” of an individual’s death so as confirm whether the event has occurred as the result of an accident, injury or any foul play (The Office of the Coroner, 2007, p.1). Coroners function as independent investigators but often they will have to work with the “law enforcement” officers, medical professionals and other service providers (p.1). The determination of the precise cause of death plays a critical role in all homicide investigations as well in the allocation of public funds, insurance etc and, therefore, the persons responsible for the medical examination need to determine it accurately.
Conducting of an autopsy is a significant process involved in the determination of the cause of death in all cases. The procedure of autopsy encompasses the medical examination of a dead individual’s body, which is usually carried out by a medical practitioner who is specially trained for the purpose. Autopsies are normally conducted for both “clinical” and “medico-legal” purposes (Kotabagi, Charati & Jayachandar, 2004, p.258). The main objective of clinical autopsy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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