Stefan Timmermans

in Postmortem

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780226803982
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226804002 | DOI:

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This chapter discusses the contents of the volume which is about forensic death investigators and about the difficult decisions of distinguishing among suicide, accident, homicide and natural death. It addresses the cultural trade-off created by placing suspicious death under the jurisdiction of the most professionalized of death investigators: medical examiners trained as forensic pathologists. This chapter also discusses the medical examiner's forensic authority and the sources of legitimacy for this authority.

Keywords: forensic death investigators; suicide; accident; homicide; natural death; medical examiners; forensic pathologists; forensic authority

Chapter.  14648 words. 

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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