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Asian Journal of Nursing Education and Research
Year : 2020, Volume : 10, Issue : 2
First page : ( 246) Last page : ( 247)
Print ISSN : 2231-1149. Online ISSN : 2349-2996.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2349-2996.2020.00052.X

Psychological Autopsy

Dr. Sampoornam W.1,*

Professor, Department of Mental Health Nursing, The Tamilnadu Dr.M.G.R. Medical University, Chennai

1Dhanvantri College of Nursing Pallakkapalayam, Namakkal. Tamilnadu, India

*Corresponding Author Email: sampoornamwebster@yahoo.in

Online published on 30 April, 2020.


Psychological autopsy is a procedure used to identify equivocal deaths. An equivocal death is a death in which it is not immediately clear whether a person committed suicide or not (eg.drug ingestion deaths, single car accident deaths).It is basically a mental status examination of deceased. In augmentation, information is gathered from available health care, psychiatric records and forensic examination. Thus a psychological autopsy synthesizes the information from manifold informants and records. The early generation of psychological autopsies rooted that more than 90% of completed suicides had suffered from usual co-morbid mental disorders, most of them clinically diagnosed to have mood and substance use disorders. Furthermore, they disclosed that under treatment of these mental disorders without any contact with psychiatric or other health care services might be the reason for committed suicide.



Psychological Autopsy, Methodology, Collateral Interviews, Ethics, Application.


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