skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 229685 Find in a Library
Title: Natural, Unexpected Deaths: Reliability of a Presumptive Diagnosis
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:55  Issue:1  Dated:January 2010  Pages:77-81
Author(s): James R. Gill, M.D.; Irini A. Scordi-Bello, M.D., Ph.D.
Date Published: January 2010
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The authors retrospectively analyzed 100 deaths because of suspicions and concerns expressed by the family.
Abstract: They compared the preautopsy cause of death, as determined by a thorough review of the clinical data and circumstances, to the autopsy-derived cause of death. In the majority (91/100), the preautopsy and postautopsy proximate causes of death were in agreement. In 9 percent, the autopsy provided information that resulted in a proximate cause of death different than anticipated. In four instances, the manner of death also was incorrect and was determined to be an accident rather than the originally presumed natural. No homicide or suicide would have been misclassified. In another nine instances, where the premortem and postmortem proximate causes of death were in agreement, the autopsy provided a specific mechanism of death. With a quality initial medicolegal death investigation, a subset of sudden deaths in adults may be reliably certified without an autopsy. 2 tables and 30 references (Published abstract)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Autopsy; Death certificates; Death investigations; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.