Communicating with the coroner : how religion, culture, and family concerns may influence autopsy decision making

Carpenter, Belinda J., Tait, Gordon, Adkins, Glenda, Barnes, Michael, Naylor, Charles, & Begum, Nelufa (2011) Communicating with the coroner : how religion, culture, and family concerns may influence autopsy decision making. Death Studies, 35(4), pp. 316-337.

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Based on coronial data gathered in the state of Queensland in 2004, this article reviews how a change in legislation may have impacted autopsy decision making by coroners. More specifically, the authors evaluated whether the requirement that coronial autopsy orders specify the level of invasiveness of an autopsy to be performed by a pathologist was affected by the further requirement that coroners take into consideration a known religion, culture, and/or raised family concern before making such an order. Preliminary data reveal that the cultural status of the deceased did not affect coronial autopsy decision making. However, a known religion with a proscription against autopsy and a raised family concern appeared to be taken into account by coroners when making autopsy decisions and tended to decrease the invasiveness of the autopsy ordered from a full internal examination to either a partial internal examination or an external-only examination of the body. The impact of these findings is briefly discussed.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Scopus
10 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 49301
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Autopsy, Coroner, Indigenous, Objection, Religion
DOI: 10.1080/07481187.2010.520506
ISSN: 1091-7683
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2012 02:18
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2015 01:35

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