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

Carpenter, Belinda and Tait, Gordon and Adkins, Glenda and Barnes, Michael and 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. ISSN 0748-1187


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.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 20968
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Taylor & Francis Group. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Management and Marketing
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2012 23:20
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2015 03:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: religion; culture; body; coroner; legislation
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220315 Philosophy of Religion
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200204 Cultural Theory
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180119 Law and Society
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950406 Religious Traditions (excl. Structures and Rituals)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/07481187.2010.520506

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only