Classification Description Degree of contribution
Immediatecause of death It (They) is (are) death mechanism(s) or the final factor(s) as a result of death.Because other death causes, such as underlying cause of death, had shared the one, it’s (their) degree of contribution should not be assigned or be zero. 0
Inductivecause of death It (They) is (are) promoter(s) to induce the potential and fatal diseases, and it (they) should be the tolerant factor(s) (minor injury or mental stimulus, etc.) for the normal person. The factor(s) play(s) the smaller role in death mechanism. 10-20%
Contributory cause of death It (They) is (are) the factor(s) to promote or accelerate the process of death in some extent, and there is no direct causality with the underlying cause of death. The factor(s) play(s) the indirect role in death mechanism. 20-30%
Intervening cause of death It (They) is (are) the factor(s) between the underlying cause and immediate cause in the process of death, and the factor(s) play(s) the cohesive and secondary role in death mechanism. 30-40%
Underlying cause of death It (They) is (are) the initial and crucial factor as a result of death, and the factor(s) play(s) the key and major role in death mechanism. 60-100%
Synergetic cause of death Anyone of factors could not lead to death separately, but they interact and amplify the pathologic effect and result in the fatal outcome. Therefore, it is hard to discriminate the actions of them in death mechanism, and each factor should share the degree of contribution. 100%/n
Combinedcause of death Anyone of factors could lead to death respectively, and they are the coincidence conditions. Because the factors result in death by separate and different death mechanisms, each of them should add up the degree of contribution respectively. nĂ—100%
Irrelevant factor It (They) is (are) the other independent disease(s) or injury(s), and the factor(s) play(s) no role in death mechanism. 0
a. In one case, the degrees of all factors add up to 100%, and more than two factors should share the total degree according to each contribution.
b. For the Intervening/Contributory/Inductive cause of death, multiple Intervening/Contributory/Inductive factors will share equally the degree, if any.
c.For the combined cause of death, each factor should match every independent condition or event, and the degree of contribution of each one should be 100%.
Table 1: Classification of death causes and their respective degree of contribution.