Journal of Forensic Pathology

ISSN - 2684-1312


Determining The Cause And Manner Of Death

Charles Petty

In cases of suspicious death, a forensic pathologist is charged with determining the cause and manner of death. In the United States, each state has its own regulations that govern what constitutes a forensic case, and each has a system to accomplish the tasks of forensic pathology. Many states have a medical examiner system, in which a city or county will have a chief medical examiner, who must be a physician. The chief medical examiner will, in turn, have a number of associate medical examiners who perform the actual duties of the forensic pathologist. Other states have a coroner system, in which the chief officer may not be a physician but employs forensic pathologists to carry out the necessary duties. Forensic pathologists have three major duties to perform. They are called to crime scenes to make a preliminary examination of the body and perhaps an initial determination of the postmortem interval (the time since death). They will take charge of the body and direct the trained death scene investigators to carefully prepare and remove the body and transport it to the morgue for later analysis.