Coronial Practice, Indigeneity and Suicide
AbstractAll available data suggest that, like many other Indigenous peoples, Australian Aborigines are significantly more likely to kill themselves than are non-Aboriginal Australians. This statistical disparity is normally positioned an objective, ontological and undeniable social fact, a fact best explained as a function of endemic community disadvantage and disenfranchisement. This research explores the possibility that higher-than-normal Aboriginal suicide rates may also be a function of coronial decision-making practices. Based upon in-depth interviews with 32 coroners from across Australia, the following conclusions emerged from the data. First, coroners have differing perceptions of Indigenous capacity, and are less likely to have concerns about intent when the suicide is committed by an Indigenous person. Second, coroners have identified divergent scripts of Indigenous suicide, particularly its spontaneity and public location, and this supports rather than challenges, a finding of suicide. Third, the coronial perception of Indigenous life is a factor which influences a suicide determination for Indigenous deaths. Finally, the low level of Indigenous engagement with the coronial system, and the unlikelihood of a challenge to the finding of suicide by Indigenous families, means that a coronial determination of suicide is more likely. View Full-Text
Share & Cite This Article
Tait, G.; Carpenter, B.; Jowett, S. Coronial Practice, Indigeneity and Suicide. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 765.
Tait G, Carpenter B, Jowett S. Coronial Practice, Indigeneity and Suicide. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018; 15(4):765.Chicago/Turabian Style
Tait, Gordon; Carpenter, Belinda; Jowett, Stephanie. 2018. "Coronial Practice, Indigeneity and Suicide." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 15, no. 4: 765.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.