Forensic Epidemiology

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ISBN 9781420063271
Cat# 63278



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ISBN 9781420063288
Cat# E63278



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      • Provides an overview of the development and role of the forensic epidemiologist
      • Discusses basic operations of the medical examiner/coroners office
      • Presents a detailed description of the death certificate
      • Examines the reporting of deaths from natural, suicidal, accidental, homicidal, and undetermined causes

      • Explores the role of the forensic epidemiologist as a consultant or expert witness


After 9/11, forensic epidemiology emerged as a leading investigative tool, partnering public health officers with law enforcement like never before. Based on the authors’ first-hand experience, Forensic Epidemiology brings to light the vast amounts of information collected by medical examiners that will be useful in advancing death investigation techniques among the forensic science, public health, and law enforcement fields.

This practical resource begins with a brief overview of epidemiological science and the history of forensic epidemiology before examining the multiple functions of death certificates and the signature role of forensic epidemiologists in death investigations. Incorporating numerous illustrations and real-world examples, the book:

  • Explains proven methods to collect, analyze, and interpret data for criminal investigations
  • Defines the terminology, methodology, procedures, and goals of all sectors involved for more effective collaboration
  • Examines deaths from natural, suicidal, accidental, homicidal, and undetermined causes
  • Describes the various decomposition states and methods used to establish positive identity

The increased frequency of criminal acts that involve deliberate biological and chemical agents underscores the need for collaboration between law enforcement investigators and public health professionals. As Forensic Epidemiology effectively demonstrates, when they work together, they can mount a powerful and successful response to threats to the American public.

Dr. Steven A. Koehler was interviewed in Volume 12 of Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology.

Table of Contents

Forensic Epidemiology
The Role of the Forensic Epidemiologist in the ME/C Office
The ME/C Office
Foundations of Forensic Epidemiology
The Death Certificate
Natural Deaths
Accidental Deaths
Suicide Deaths
Homicide Deaths
Undetermined Deaths
Special Cases
Forensic Papers/Studies
Expert Witness/Consulting

Editorial Reviews

. . .  an excellent introductory and reference text regarding this growing subfield of epidemiology. The authors provide a clear and accurate description of medical examiner/coroner (ME/C) office procedures as they relate to the categories and quality of mortality data that are utilized in forensic epidemiological practice and research. . . . well-organized, well-researched and highly readable.  . . . In sum, Koehler and Brown’s Forensic Epidemiology is a much-needed addition to the epidemiological and forensic literature. The well-written and researched volume provides a useful textbook option for college students and a handy office reference for professionals..
     -- Sharon M. Derrick writing in Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology (Humana Press), published online February 27. 2010

The information is not easily available elsewhere, and provides the reader with an insight into this new specialty. I would recommend this book highly to all forensic practitioners, who want to explore this new specialty.

—Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology