Roles and responsibilities of the forensic psychology professional in a psychological autopsy

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Psychological autopsy is the method of reconstructing how a person felt, thought, and did before his or her death. The data analyzed is based on the information gathered from the police reports, face-to-face discussions with friends, families, police reports, personal documents, medical and coroner’s records (Bartol & Bartol, 2014). Hence, the investigation procedure can help the medical examiner determine if the death was caused by accident, murder, natural consequences or suicide.

The forensic psychologists have a great role to play in ensuring the grieved families get the best services from the insurance companies. They have to provide accurate and reliable data so that any insurance business or person cannot take advantage of the situation by denying the family its benefits (David, 2011).

The forensic psychologist in most cases is consulted during any criminal issue to determine the truth about the cause of the death. They also play various duties within the law enforcement agency. The forensic psychologist has to write a report about the reasons for the death, and the results have to be submitted to the judge in an official way. Besides, the forensic psychologist has to stand before the court to testify about the state of mind of the victim. He or she has the power to prove whether or not the perpetrator had the capacity to perform the criminal acts. Therefore, the psychologist has to interview various persons to get accurate information (Bartol & Bartol, 2014). They can also offer advice to the family and also make them understand the cause of the death. They have to provide a sense of closure to the survivor.

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  1. Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. M. (2014). Introduction to forensic psychology: Research and application (4th Ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.
  2. David, S. B. (2011). Speaking From Beyond the Grave: How Psychological Autopsies Can Help Families Find ClosurePsychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shrinking-crime/201107/speaking-beyond-the-grave-how-psychological-autopsies-can-help-families
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