Medicolegal death investigators training lectures at Saint Louis University are presented by forensic specialists on all major categories of deaths that occur in medicolegal jurisdictions, with particular emphasis placed on the investigator’s role in the death investigation.
Basic death scene investigation techniques are stressed and investigative procedures are thoroughly discussed. Topics covered during the presentations include:
- Laws pertaining to death investigation
- Emergency medical treatment
- Estimation of time of death
- Body changes after death
- Blood spatter interpretation
- Courtroom testimony
- Organ and tissue donation
- Critical incident stress debriefing
- Family notification
The capabilities of ancillary forensic sciences (anthropology, biology, criminalistics, entomology, psychiatry, radiology and toxicology) are also explained.
These lectures assist investigators in understanding the importance and value of scene and body evidence. Law enforcement personnel from crime scene and homicide units provide information so that the medicolegal death investigator will understand the roles, authority and responsibilities of all participants in a death investigation.
This course emphasizes the medical aspects of death investigation and is not designed to be a homicide seminar.
Types of deaths to be discussed include those due to:
- Alcohol and drugs
- Asphyxia blunt trauma
- Child maltreatment
- Gunshot wounds
- Head trauma
- Injury at work
- Natural causes
- Sudden unexpected infant death
- Thermal injury
Unexpected deaths, infant death scene investigation, police custody deaths, vehicular-related deaths and weather-related deaths are also explored.