Volume 24, Issue 2 (April 1979)
The “Undetermined” Ruling: A Medicolegal Dilemma
For many years it has been the duty of coroners and medical examiners not only to investigate deaths of medicolegal interest but also to render an opinion as to the cause and manner of death. “Cause of death” is understood to be the primary disease, injury, or physiologic disturbance that brings about a person's death. “Manner of death” is ruled “natural” when death results solely from a disease process and “unnatural” when death results from unavoidable injury (“accident”), conscious intent of the decedent (“suicide”), or the act of another (“homicide”).