In many legal jurisdictions, the manner of death is a determination, typically made by the coroner, medical examiner, police, or similar officials, and recorded as a vital statistic. Within the United States and the United Kingdom, a distinction is made between the cause of death, which is a specific disease or injury, versus manner of death, which is primarily a legal determination versus the mechanism of death (also called the mode of death) which does not explain why the person died or the underlying cause of death and can include cardiac arrest or exsanguination. Different categories are used in different jurisdictions, but manner of death determinations include everything from very broad categories like "natural" and "homicide" to specific manners like "traffic accident" or "gunshot wound". In some cases an autopsy is performed, either due to general legal requirements, because the medical cause of death is uncertain, upon the request of family members or guardians, or because the circumstances of death were suspicious.
International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes can be used to record manner and cause of death in a systematic way that makes it easy to compile statistics and more feasible to compare events across jurisdictions.