The Proof in Law of Suicide

    Volume 31, Issue 3 (July 1986)

    ISSN: 0022-1198


    Published Online: 1 July 1986

    Page Count: 9

    Massello, W
    Assistant chief medical examiner, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Western Division, Commonwealth of Virginia, Roanoke, VA

    (Received 20 May 1985; accepted 16 September 1985)


    The certification of suicide as the manner of death is frequently contested in court by the victim's survivors, particularly when there are life insurance benefits at stake. The evidence upon which the opinion of suicide is based must, therefore, meet the standard of proof required in law, if it is to be sustained by the courts. This standard of proof and some of its contingent common law doctrines are discussed, with references to several judicial opinions from cases which involved contested suicides.

    Paper ID: JFS11108J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS11108J

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    Title The Proof in Law of Suicide
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30