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

Article


Carpenter, Belinda, Tait, Gordon, Adkins, Glenda, Barnes, Michael, Naylor, Charles and 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2010.520506
Article Title

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

ERA Journal ID6217
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCarpenter, Belinda (Author), Tait, Gordon (Author), Adkins, Glenda (Author), Barnes, Michael (Author), Naylor, Charles (Author) and Begum, Nelufa (Author)
Journal TitleDeath Studies
Journal Citation35 (4), pp. 316-337
Number of Pages22
Year2011
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
ISSN0748-1187
1091-7683
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2010.520506
Abstract

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.

Keywordsreligion; culture; body; coroner; legislation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020500316. Philosophy of religion
470207. Cultural theory
480499. Law in context not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
School of Management and Marketing
Queensland State Coroner Office, Australia
Department of Health, Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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