Document Detail

Level of agreement between opinions of medical examiner investigators and forensic pathologist medical examiners regarding the manner of death.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10739221     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
To evaluate the level of agreement between medical examiner investigators' opinion of the manner of death and what the manner of death was as certified by forensic pathologist medical examiners (MEs), we reviewed the case records stored in a database of all deaths reported to the office of the medical examiner in Fulton County, Georgia. Of 15,771 deaths reported to the office during a 10-year period, a difference exists in 1908 cases. In 900 natural deaths, the investigators recorded 135 accident, 10 homicide, 10 suicide, and 745 undetermined manners of death. In 755 accidental deaths, the investigators recorded 16 natural, 8 homicide, 13 suicide, and 718 undetermined manners of death. In 107 homicides, the investigators recorded 12 natural, 8 accident, 0 suicide, and 87 undetermined manners of death. In 70 suicides, the investigators recorded 9 natural, 9 accident, 3 homicide, and 49 undetermined manners of death. In 61 deaths classified as undetermined, the investigators recorded 25 natural, 13 accident, 17 homicide, and 6 suicide manners of death. In 15 deaths, the discrepancy exists due to an apparent error in the database information. This study confirms a high concordance between investigator and ME opinion regarding manner of death but also documents the need for case review and autopsies by forensic pathologists to confirm the investigators' opinion of the manner of death, determine the manner of death when the investigator selects undetermined, and on occasion, refute the investigators' opinion regarding the manner of death.
J L deJong; R Hanzlick
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology     Volume:  21     ISSN:  0195-7910     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Publication Date:  2000 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-06-01     Completed Date:  2000-06-01     Revised Date:  2011-02-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8108948     Medline TA:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  11-20     Citation Subset:  IM    
Fulton County Medical Examiner's Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cause of Death*
Coroners and Medical Examiners*
Forensic Medicine*
Observer Variation
Records as Topic
Retrospective Studies

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