The Impact of Psychological Autopsies on Medical Examiners' Determination of Manner of Death

    Volume 31, Issue 1 (January 1986)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Page Count: 13


    Berman, AL
    Doctoral student in clinical psychology and professor of psychology, The American University, Washington, DC

    Josselson, AR
    Chief, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC

    Jobes, DA
    Doctoral student in clinical psychology and professor of psychology, The American University, Washington, DC

    (Received 29 January 1985; accepted 22 April 1985)

    Abstract

    This study evaluated the impact of psychological information on medical examiners' determination of manner of death in equivocal cases. Ten cases, a typical and equivocal case for each of five case types (single car, child, autoerotic, psychotic, and Russian roulette death) were evaluated for manner of death by 195 medical examiner subjects. From this sample 95 control subjects received 10 cases made up of physical and circumstantial evidence, while 100 experimental subjects received the same 10 cases expanded with brief psychological autopsies. Psychological information was shown to have a statistically significant impact on subjects' determination (and certainty) of manner of death is equivocal cases and even in some typical cases.


    Paper ID: JFS11870J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS11870J

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    Author
    Title The Impact of Psychological Autopsies on Medical Examiners' Determination of Manner of Death
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30