Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: From Colonial Coroner to American Medical Examiner: A Way Forward in Sri Lankan Death Invest...

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Concept paper

From Colonial Coroner to American Medical Examiner: A Way Forward in Sri Lankan Death Investigation System

Authors:

D. A. H. Samadhi ,

Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, LK
About D. A. H.
Office of the Judicial Medical Officer
X close

P. R. Ruwanpura,

Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, LK
About P. R.
Office of the Judicial Medical Officer
X close

R. R. G. S. Amararatne

District General Hospital, Kalutara, LK
About R. R. G. S.
Office of the Judicial Medical Officer
X close

Abstract

The Death Investigation system (DIS) in a given country is an administrative office, that is essential in many directions. Different DIS are existing worldwide differing on its investigating authority but are mainly consisted of Coroner and Medical Examiner systems. These systems are indefinitely being modified to be fitted with the advancement of forensic investigations and social needs, and the trend runs towards the medically trained Death Investigator System. Current DIS in Sri Lanka is adopted from the British Coronial system and is still being practised without significant adjustments since 1892, which has given rise to numerous discrepancies. The objective is to emphasizes the need for establishing the Medical Examiners (ME) System in Sri Lanka and to address the issues in converting to the proposed system. The Main drawbacks concerning this conversion in other countries are related to administrative, legislative, financial, and political issues. Nevertheless, every country does not acquire similar challenges, and our country may easily accept and overcome the difficulties mentioned above. As an example, the current DIS can be swiftly converted into ME centered approach with minor modifications to the criminal procedure code such as by appointing a Forensic Medical specialist as a death investigator with all the powers of existing Inquirer into Sudden Death who can conduct inquest to decide whether autopsy examination is necessary or not. This process does not require any infrastructural modifications as well. Stepwise conversion of Coroners to ME in the States in America can be taken into consideration as a role model. This paper highlights the necessity of introducing the Medical Examiner System in Sri Lanka and provides guidance to overcome the drawbacks.
How to Cite: Samadhi, D.A.H., Ruwanpura, P.R. and Amararatne, R.R.G.S., 2020. From Colonial Coroner to American Medical Examiner: A Way Forward in Sri Lankan Death Investigation System. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 8(2), pp.40–44. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v8i2.7425
Published on 30 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus