Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Cut-Free Autopsy


by blogger kjs

Scalpels. Bone saws. Lots and lots of gloves.

Those are the tools of the trade when you are an average medical examiner. It's not uncommon to extract bullets from gaping shotgun wounds or to dissect a brain to see how deep a knife wound might go. However, in this golden age of technology, hands-on autopsies may become obsolete thanks to the power of radiological imaging technology. The same instrument that can visualize a broke bone or heart arrhythmia may have the power to determine cause of death without ever opening up a body.

How is this possible?

Well, first of all, there is the issue of radioactive matter: how much can we expose a patient to? With a dead body, that issue is rendered negligible. Also, when a body has finished an autopsy it is sent to a mortuary. With virtual autopsies, data from the body can be stored in a database and the body never needed again in order to evaluate it! Other advantages include: time-saving, protecting religious practices, easier communication with jurors, and less risk of contracting diseases.

Disadvantages include the money needed to buy machines that could handle such procedures and the need for more developed procedures that could visualize bleeding patterns and portmortem gas.

As this becomes a developing issue in forensic technology, the author of the article had this to say:

As terrorists improve their applied technologies day by day, it is unthinkable that forensic pathologists should not also be able to make use of emerging technologies in order to gather as much information as possible from their victims... In times where no one can really feel safe, we should not only focus on the prevention of catastrophe, but also prepare ourselves to handle disasters adequately when they do occur.


Just a little food for thought!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Minor in Forensics
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School Of Legal Studies said...

Minor In Forensic Sciences
Congratulations Class of 2011!
School of Justice Studies
Honor Graduates

Law Enforcement Dean's list

Faith Blount
Sheila DeMeules
Gina Devroy
Jaci Froelich
Randy Hermanson
Brandi Jordan
Andrew Mathisen
Vanessa Martinez
Gregory Messler
Armando Sanchez
Mary McGuire Sinn
Amy Strebe
Stacey Taylor
Nicole Walters

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