Download Death Investigation in America: Coroners, Medical Examiners, by Jeffrey M. Jentzen PDF

By Jeffrey M. Jentzen

A dying happens at domestic, in a medical institution, on a highway: why? As Jeffrey Jentzen unearths, we frequently by no means comprehend. Why is the yank process of dying research so inconsistent and insufficient? What can the occasions of the assassination of President Kennedy, killing of Bobby Kennedy, and Chappaquiddick exhibit in regards to the country of demise investigation?

If groups in early the US had a coroner in any respect, he used to be politically appointed and poorly expert. As drugs grew to become extra subtle and the clinical occupation extra convinced, physicians struggled to set up a professionalized, physician-led process of demise research. The clash among them and the coroners, in addition to politicians and legislation enforcement companies, resulted in the patchwork of neighborhood legislation and practices that persist to this day.

In this exact political and cultural background, Jentzen attracts on files, interviews, and his personal occupation as a medical expert to examine the best way long-standing expert and political competition controls public clinical wisdom and public health.

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Additional resources for Death Investigation in America: Coroners, Medical Examiners, and the Pursuit of Medical Certainty

Sample text

9 The three men struggled to conceive how medicine might aid in the study of criminology. To define problems they might address, Hektoen sent a questionnaire to teachers of pathology concerning their provisions and facilities for medicolegal purposes. ”10 However, because of the poor state of the medicolegal autopsy, the committee decided to limit its focus to improving autopsy pathology in legal medicine. Vaughan once again contacted Flexner at the Rockefeller Foundation, who advised limiting the topic to the practice of legal medicine.

Lawyers who before had ac- R Death Investigation in America 24 cepted dishonest coroners now called for their removal. 69 Academic physicians also recognized the benefits scientific death investigations could bring to society, as well as the abundance of wasted medical knowledge that lay fallow behind the doors of coroners’ autopsy rooms. In 1910, R. B. H. Gradwohl, a coroner’s pathologist in St. Louis, drew attention to the conflict between the medical and legal responsibilities of the coroner.

Rockefeller Jr. had long sensed the growing threat of criminal activity and its deleterious effect on American society. His foundation had grown increasingly interested in curbing crime in America. In 1915, he sent Raymond B. Fosdick to study European police systems, and later Fosdick examined the problem of criminal investigations in America. In 1924 he published The American Police System, which underscored the Rockefeller Foundation’s fear of crime and its interest in using scientific methods to curb urban crime and corruption for the betterment of American society.

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