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NCJ Number: 44092 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: GUIDE TO THE INVESTIGATION AND REPORTING OF DRUG-ABUSE DEATHS - PROBLEMS AND METHODS
Corporate Author: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
National Institute on Drug Abuse
United States of America
Editor(s): L A GOTTSCHALK; F L MCGUIRE; E C DINOVO; H BIRCH; J F HEISER
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 159
Sponsoring Agency: Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Contract Number: HSM-42-72-139
Publication Number: DHEW NO (ADM) 77-386
Sale Source: Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PROCEDURES FOR CLEARLY DEFINING DRUG ABUSE DEATH AND ACCURATELY ATTRIBUTING DEATHS TO ABUSE ARE OUTLINED IN THIS GUIDE FOR FORENSIC PATHOLOGISTS, MEDICAL EXAMINERS, AND THOSE INTERESTED IN DRUG ABUSE DATA.
Abstract: FOLLOWING AN OVERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION, THE CHAPTERS IN THE GUIDE ARE ORGANIZED ROUGHLY IN THE ORDER IN WHICH EVENTS OCCUR WHEN A DRUG ABUSE DEATH IS INVESTIGATED AND REPORTED. TOPICS INCLUDE: (1) INITIAL ONSITE INVESTIGATION; (2) POSTMORTEM EXAMINATION AND AUTOPSY; (3) EVIDENCE AND SITUATIONS DETERMINING CAUSE OF DEATH; (4) PROCEDURES IN A VALID, RELIABLE TOXICOLOGICAL ANALYSIS; (5) PSYCHOLOGICAL AUTOPSY OR RECONSTRUCTION OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE DEATH; (6) CERTIFICATION OF DEATH BY THE CORONER OR MEDICAL EXAMINER; (7) COMPILATION OF DATA INTO RECORDKEEPING SYSTEMS; AND (8) PROVISION OF TESTIMONY BY THE MEDICAL-LEGAL OFFICER. AMONG THE RECURRING THEMES ARE LACK OF AGREEMENT ON WHAT A DRUG ABUSE DEATH IS AND HOW IT SHOULD BE DEFINED, INSUFFICIENCY OF THE STANDARD CLASSIFICATION OF CAUSES OF DEATH IN ESTIMATING DRUG ABUSE DEATHS, ADVICE TO BE THOROUGH AND PRECISE IN GATHERING EVIDENCE FOR MAKING DECISIONS ON DRUG ABUSE DEATHS, AND CONCERN OVER DEPENDENCE ON PINPOINT VERSUS FRAMEWORK INTERPRETATION OF CAUSE OF DEATH. APPENDIXES INCLUDE A REPORTING FORM OF A DRUG-INVOLVED DEATH; DATA ON SOME POTENTIALLY TOXIC CHEMICALS IN THE POSTMORTEM EXAMINATION; SAMPLE AUTOPSY REPORT FORMS FROM THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER-CORONER'S OFFICE; A TABULATION OF THERAPEUTIC AND TOXIC CONCENTRATIONS OF MORE THAN 100 TOXICOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT DRUGS IN BLOOD, PLASMA, OR SERUM; A TABLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES, ADAPTED (ICDA) CODE CATEGORIES MOST FREQUENTLY ASSOCIATED WITH DRUG-INDUCED DEATHS; THE U.S. STANDARD CERTIFCATE OF DEATH; AND THE DRUG ABUSE WARNING NETWORK (DAWN) MEDICAL EXAMINER FORM. SOME CHAPTERS PROVIDE REFERENCES.
Index Term(s): Coroners; Criminal investigation; Drug abuse; Evidence; Evidence collection; Evidence identification; Forensic medicine; Poisons and poison analysis
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