Journal of Medical Toxicology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 111–116 | Cite as

From Death to Death Certificate: What do the Dead say?

  • James R. Gill


This is an overview of medicolegal death investigation and death certification. Postmortem toxicological analysis, particularly for ethanol and drugs of abuse, plays a large role in the forensic investigation of natural and unnatural deaths. Postmortem drug concentrations must be interpreted in light of the autopsy findings and circumstances. Interpretations of drug and ethanol concentrations are important for death certification, but they also may be important for other stakeholders such as police, attorneys, public health practitioners, and the next-of-kin.


Forensic pathology Toxicology Opioids Ethanol Autopsy Death certification 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest


Sources of Funding



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Copyright information

© American College of Medical Toxicology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical ExaminerFarmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologySchool of Medicine, Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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