(Received 18 October 1971; accepted 5 November 1971)
Published Online: April
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Death is an event which triggers various emotions in those persons who have some relational ties with the decedent. Society accepts and approves of these emotions and their external manifestations which culminate in burial. But society does more than merely accept and approve this ritual; it has a decided interest in the death of each person from the viewpoint of health and welfare. This interest is often codified in statutes, which create the office of the medical examiner and broadly outline his investigative powers. The fact that this interest is codified expressly verifies that society considers its rights, in certain areas, with respect to the body of the decedent superior to any rights of other individuals having a legal relationship to the decedent.
Blackwell, Walker, and Gray, Miami, Fla.
Chief medical examiner, University of Miami School of Medicine, Dade County, Fla.
Pathologist, Brandon, Fla.
Stock #: JFS10677J