Within and Inter-Institutional Differences Between Death Certifiers on Autopsy Conclusions.

Affiliation

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI, USA [Email]

Abstract

This study seeks to establish whether medico-legal practitioners differ in their autopsy conclusions within and across medico-legal institutions. Data include 459 violent deaths (homicides, suicides, and accidents) autopsy reports written by more than 20 death certifiers from four medico-legal institutions in two countries (France and the United States). Multinomial models show that compared with accidental deaths, weapon use and decedents' characteristics both influence a homicide verdict, but not a suicide one. In addition, French practitioners are more likely than Americans to reach a conclusion of homicide or suicide compared with accident, and homicides are more likely to be certified by male practitioners.

Keywords

death certifiers,international comparison,mortality statistics,violent deaths,