If your friend or loved one recently passed away under suspicious circumstances or if the cause of death is under question, it is essential for you to have a clear understanding of what medicolegal reporting is and how it can benefit you. One common example of medicolegal reporting occurs when it is the professional opinion of a health care provider that a death was caused by someone who acted illegally. Conversely, when law enforcement specialists need confirmation of neglect, abuse, accident or injury, they will typically consult with medical personnel to establish an accurate diagnosis. 

Is Medicolegal Reporting New?

Many people know medicolegal reporting as legal medicine. It has existed in one form or another for centuries. However, as crimes, weapons and injuries have become more sophisticated, so has the need for medicolegal reporting. It is also important to point out that although almost any sudden, violent or unexplained death that occurs in the United States can be investigated, each state has the right to decide if an autopsy or further investigation is warranted. Different states have different guidelines for medicolegal reporting.    

Medicolegal reporting is one type of forensic medicine and it frequently necessary when an injury or illness occurs that does not have a valid or clear cause. It may also be necessary when death has occurred due to suspicious reasons or when there is the logical belief that the cause of death could be a threat to public health.

What Information Is Necessary To Determine Prior To Filing A Report?

In many instances, including the risk to the public, an autopsy, by someone like matthew steiner md, will be required. Due to suspicions as to the cause of death or injury, permission for the autopsy will rarely be required, as it would in typical circumstances.  

The physician performing the examination needs to establish the following information on the deceased:

  • The cause of death 
  • The manner of death 

Understanding the cause of death is fairly simple, as most people would be familiar with burns, stabbing, etc. However, the cause of death can be much more complicated, as seen below. 

The cause of death will be listed as one of the following:

  • Homicide
  • Natural (such as old-age or a terminal illness)
  • Suicide
  • Accident
  • Not determined or unknown

In conclusion, medicolegal reporting is an important concept for both law enforcement and the medical field. The valuable information that it provides can make it possible to provide proof as to the cause of many deaths. Without it, it would always not be possible to prove that a crime took place and it can also clear suspected people of charges.