Current Medico-legal Death Investigation System in China
Article first published online: 15 APR 2011
© 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 56, Issue 4, pages 930–933, July 2011
How to Cite
Chang, L., Zhang, B., Yan, P., Fowler, D. and Li, L. (2011), Current Medico-legal Death Investigation System in China. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56: 930–933. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01792.x
- Issue published online: 5 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 15 APR 2011
- Received 18 Jan. 2010; and in revised form 10 Mar. 2010; accepted 13 Mar. 2010.
- forensic science;
- forensic pathology;
- medico-legal system;
- death investigation;
Abstract: Medico-legal death investigation in China has a long history that can be traced back to the Chhin era in the third century BC. We conducted a national study on the current medico-legal death investigation system in China. Our study showed that, at present, medico-legal death investigations in China are conducted by c. 12,000 forensic medical experts mainly within five relatively independent agencies: the police organizations, the prosecutors’ offices, the departments/divisions of forensic medicine/science in medical colleges and universities, the Institute of Forensic Science in the Ministry of Justice, and the government or private forensic societies. Owing to China’s large population and area, the medico-legal death investigation is largely based on the administrative divisions. There is a wide variation in the scope, extent, and quality of investigations among the agencies and at the different levels of county/district, municipal, and provincial governments. This article gives a general overview of medicolegal death investigation in modern China.