Problems with the coronial determination of ‘suicide’

Tait, Gordon, Carpenter, Belinda J., De Leo, Diego, & Tatz, Colin (2015) Problems with the coronial determination of ‘suicide’. Mortality, 20(3), pp. 233-247.

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After over 100 years of constant dissatisfaction with the accuracy of suicide data, this paper suggests that the problem may actually lie with the category of suicide itself. In almost all previous research, ‘suicide’ is taken to be a self-evidently valid category of death, not an object of study in its own right. Instead, the focus in this paper is upon the presupposition that how a social fact like suicide is counted depends upon norms for its governmental regulation, leading to a reciprocal relationship between social norms and statistical norms. Since this relationship is centred almost entirely in the coroner’s office, this paper examines governmental, definitional and categorisational issues relating to how coroners reach findings of suicide. The intention of this paper is to contribute to international debates over how suicide can best be conceptualised and adjudged.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 84549
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published online 26 May 2015. The embargo on the accepted manuscript version will expire on 26 November 2016.
Keywords: Suicide, Coronial practice, Governance, Wittgenstein, Language games
DOI: 10.1080/13576275.2015.1012489
ISSN: 1469-9885
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright Statement: The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Mortality, 26 May 2015,
Deposited On: 27 May 2015 23:11
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 05:57

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