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Over-a-Century-Old Death Investigation System in Sri Lanka: An Appraisal for Reforms

Kodikara, Sarathchandra MD, MBBS, DLM

American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology: September 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 283–285
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e31828ced3b
Review Articles

Abstract: Although the death investigation systems in the world are divergent, the prime objective of each system is to certify the cause of death and manner of unnatural and unexplained deaths. In addition, it provides evidence for the purpose of fair administration of justice and data for health sector regulation. Many jurisdictions recently underwent considerable review and made changes to their death investigation systems in accordance with modern innovation in medicine and science. This enhanced the quality of justice in those countries. The death investigation system in Sri Lanka was originally established in 1883 and is a modified model of the British coroners system. However, the system has not undergone significant revisions since then and is confined to an informal traditional framework. The scope of this article was to review the death investigation system in Sri Lanka with a view to amend it in accordance with the current global trends.

From the Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Manuscript received November 19, 2011; accepted June 6, 2012.

No funding was obtained for this study.

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Sarathchandra Kodikara, MD, MBBS, DLM, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. E-mail: kaskodikara@yahoo.com.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.