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Course details

This course is designed for persons interested in death scene investigations. Participants will learn about all aspects of medicolegal death investigation including classification of death types, identification of deceased persons, appropriate evidence collection at a death scene, the external appearance of the body in both violent and natural deaths, and post mortem changes to the body. Relationship to the scene of death is emphasized as are features of various injuries/wounds and determination of causation [some of the material on external examination will also apply to the living e.g., assault victims.] This course outlines the interdisciplinary approach to death investigation by highlighting the roles of the coroner (medical examiner), pathologist, police & forensic scientists.




Not offered this term
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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe laws related to death in Canada including agencies involved in death investigation and applicable Acts and regulations.
  • Research and develop findings related to cultural/religious concerns that may impact the death investigation process.
  • Evaluate the types and classifications of death in sudden death investigations.
  • Differentiate between natural and unnatural deaths.
  • Distinguish personnel and resources for death investigations.
  • Evaluate deaths scenes from the perspective of a medicolegal death investigator.
  • Synthesize indications of violence and hazards at death scenes.
  • Locate and analyze previous medical history related to the deceased.
  • Assess and visually inspect the deceased to identify post mortem changes with given cases.
  • Identify characteristics of fatal injuries and recognize indicators of violence.
  • Categorize types of wounds and asphyxial deaths and compare those findings to the mechanism.
  • Differentiate between inflicted injuries and postmortem artifacts.
  • Evaluate the need for forensic identification of the deceased.
  • Demonstrate the principles of proper evidence handling.
  • Analyze where evidence may be located at the scene and on the body to assist in the investigation.
  • Describe requirements in multiple fatalities and any special requirements for body recovery in mass disasters and discuss special considerations for dealing with traumatic scenes.
  • Plan basic operations at a temporary morgue for identification and evidence recovery.

Effective as of Fall 2018

Related Programs

Death Investigation (FSCT 9860) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Computing and Academic Studies

  1. Forensic Health Sciences
    Graduate Certificate Part-time


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