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Forensic Autopsy: A Case Study

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After a traumatic death, the most common request to aid in determining the cause of death is a forensic autopsy; which is at the request of a family member or a prosecutor. Forensic autopsy includes: dissection of the anatomical body, toxicology, histology, DNA analysis, microbiology, biochemistry, evidence collection, photography, and dentistry (O’Donnell & Woodford, 2008). Certain religion beliefs will not allow a medical examiner to perform an invasive autopsy, in such cases, post mortem radiography is an alternative method in determining cause of death. Post mortem radiography includes post mortem computed tomography (PMCT) and post mortem magnetic reasoning imaging (PMMR). PMCT and PMMR display cross sectional images of the body that…show more content…
According to Daly (as cited in Kaplan, 2016) PMCT can actually save a lab money, after installations and purchase of equipment, by limited the need of a large pathologist staff, in which there is a shortage of in the US. PMCT is useful in determining if an autopsy should be performed or if a certain part of the body should be examined by the medical examiner, in turns help lessen the number of autopsies performed (Kaplan, 2016). In court cases, the use of the 3D reconstruction feature of computed tomography (CT) is very useful in initiating plea bargains before trial (Kaplan, 2016). Once a defense attorney views a 3D reconstruction of serious injuries caused by their client, they are less likely to want a jury to view the same images (Kaplan, 2016). This a major way to reduce tax payer’s money by eliminating court cases (Kaplan, 2016). Per Daly (as cited in Kaplan, 2016) plea bargain alone can save hundreds to thousands of dollars in court cases. It is extremely difficult, according to Daly (as cited in Kaplan, 2016) for a medical examiner to obtain a decent image that can be used in a court case that supports their findings without the image being overly gruesome; whereas, CT images are highly acceptable in
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