Definition – Forensic Pathology
Which for practical purposes deals with post mortem investigation of sudden unexpected death.
Training for Forensic Pathology
Masters Degree – 5 years residence in Anatomic
Clinical Pathology – 1 year training in Medical Examiners Office
Causes of Death (C.O.D)
1.) Proximate Cause – The initial injury that led to a sequence of events which caused the death of the victim
2.) Immediate Cause – The injury or disease that finally killed the individual
Mechanism of Death
Altered by physiology by which a disease or injury causes death.
Manner of Death
Legal implications superimposed on biological cause.
Homicide – Someone else causes the victims death
Suicide – The victim causes his/her own death
Accidental – Individual falls victim to a hostile environment
Natural Causes – Here the victim dies in the absence of an environment reasonably considered hostile to human life
Laceration – Tearing injury due to friction, or impact with a blunt object
Putrification – Sequence of Physical/Chemical events that begins with death and ends with dissolution of the
nondurable parts of the body
Incision – Cutting injury due to sling action of a blade-like object
Puncture Wound - Penetrating injury due to a pointed object without a blade
Post Mortem Effects
– Stiffening of muscles/joints 30 minutes - 2 hours after death, begins earlier in small muscles