Medical Examiners: How is a Suicide Determination Made? - Articles

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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Feb 12, 2019

Take an inside look from two medical examiners about how a suicide determination is made, addressing the need to balance medical examiner investigative independence with a family’s right to due process in challenging a manner of death. "Medical examiners understand that a family may disagree with a manner of death determination," the doctors write. "We are also acutely aware of the perceived stigma of a suicide manner of death determination. Some medical examiners may allow a suspicion of suicide to be overridden by reluctance to impose that stigma. However, it is important to emphasize that cause and manner of death opinions are best offered in an unbiased manner free of undue influence from societal, legal or political pressures."