• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.

Coroner and Medical Examiner
Coroner and medical examiner

Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.

Origins of Death Investigation

The origin of official death investigation is traced to at least 44 B.C. with the Greek Physician Antistius's examination of Julius Caesar (Fisher 1993; Gawande 2001). The history of the office of coroner extends well over a millennium and has seen major evolution. A British creation, the office carried to other countries under English influence, including the United States where the position was modified, improved, and at least partially supplanted by its own progeny, the office of ...

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