ABA Medical-Legal Guides: The Forensic Autopsy for Lawyers
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A forensic autopsy is a classic function of the police power of the state. The results of the autopsy can be essential evidence in the prosecution of a crime. Such evidence is also necessary in civil cases where tort liability is a key element of a case. Without a firm cause or manner of death, it may be very difficult to link an individual's actions to a death for culpability to attach.
The forensic autopsy provides this causal link with a systematic medical examination of the decedent to detect natural diseases and traumatic injuries. This enables the pathologist to conclude what caused the death and how the person s demise occurred.
Attorneys must be aware of the methods that may be critical in accurately establishing the cause and manner of death, including histology, radiology, microbiology, toxicology, serology, and special forensic laboratory testing. They need also be able to recognize the strengths and limitations of the procedure and how they fit into a case. ABA Medical-Legal Guides: The Forensic Autopsy for Lawyers covers:
• An Introduction to the Forensic Autopsy
• Basic Procedures
• Specialized Procedures
• Limitations in Forensic Autopsy
• Patterns of Injuries
• Natural Disease
• Pediatric Deaths
• The Forensic Autopsy and the Courts
• The Tort of Wrongful Autopsy
Containing more than 200 illustrations and photos, The Forensic Autopsy is an important guide to maximizing an attorney s use of the autopsy when providing legal representation.