Category Archives: Forensic pathology

Journal articles relating to forensic pathology including coronial autopsies and Disaster victim identification.

Academic Forensic Pathology – December 2015 – Case of the Month

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Complications of untreated Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis)

Os Odontoideum mimicking acute odontoid peg fracture

Academic Forensic Pathology – December 2015 – Original articles

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Cognitive bias in Medicolegal Death Investigation

The changing landscape of maintenance of certification: history, value and evidence base, and future impact on Forensic Pathology

The current and potential future role of postmortem computed tomography in Medicolegal Death Investigation

The evolution of the autopsy

The first use of postmortem 3D computed tomography images as evidence in US Criminal Courts: a report of four cases

The association between laminectomy and drug overdose deaths: a matched case-control study

Bicyclist fatalities in New York City

Postmortem toxicology findings of Acetyl Fentanyl, Fentanyl, and Morphine in heroin fatalities in Tampa, Florida

Academic Forensic Pathology – Invited Reviews – December 2015

The following are a list of ‘invited reviews’ from Academic Forensic Pathology December 2016. Click on the title link to request a copy of the article.

The future of forensic pathology: is regionalisation a key?

The future of the forensic pathology workforce

The toolbox approach to forensic pathology

Forensic Pathology workload and complexity: designing a complexity system that accurately represents workload

Utilitarian aspects of postmortem computed tomography

Model Medical Examiner Legislation

Two legal movements shaping future Forensic Pathology practice

Concurrent expert evidence, an Australian Forensic Pathology experience

Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences

Table of Contents  |  Vol 47 Issue 4 2015

Selected Articles

Forensic discrimination of inkjet-printed lines by Raman spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

DNA contamination minimisation – finding an effective cleaning method

More about RSID-saliva: the effect of sample age and the environment on the test’s efficacy

Legal Medicine – Contents Pages

Table of Contents  |  Vol 17 Issue 6 November 2015

Post-mortem as preventative medicine in Papua New Guinea: a case in point.

Rural Remote Health. 2015 Oct-Dec;15(4):2861.


Sorcery-related killing and violence has increased in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in recent years. The international community has condemned the violence and a number of non-government organisations have called for action; however, effective and appropriate interventions at a community level remain elusive. It has been suggested within some communities and in the literature that post-mortems may help to reduce fears of sorcery and associated violence by providing an alternative biomedical explanation of death. Evidence to support this proposal, however, is limited.


In 2012 the author was working in Ok Tedi Hospital, Tabubil, a remote mining town in the Star Mountains of PNG. The area is notable for a recent rise in sorcery-related violence and murders since 2009. In March 2012 a family from a nearby village requested a post-mortem following a relative’s sudden death. They clearly stated that violence and killings against suspected perpetrators of sorcery had occurred due to a similar sudden death only a year before. As such they were concerned that the nature of their relative’s death would rouse suspicions of sorcery and result in violence. The family hoped that a medical explanation of their relative’s death would prevent rumours of sorcery developing and reduce the risk of violence against suspected perpetrators of sorcery.


The post-mortem, led by a consultant surgeon and performed in Ok Tedi Hospital, Tabubil, concluded that death was due to complications from an acute myocardial infarction. As requested these results were presented at the funeral to a congregation of approximately 80 people. Following the funeral presentation the author received feedback that fears of sorcery had been alleviated and during a 2-week follow-up period no related violence against suspected perpetrators of sorcery was observed. This case is a unique and intriguing example of biomedical and sociocultural integration in the Highlands of PNG. The presence of Ok Tedi Mine, which has provided wealth, education, transport and medical resources to the area for over 30 years, no doubt can partly explain the family’s actions. For the family, however, a recent increase in sorcery-related violence would appear to be the primary reason for requesting a post-mortem. Whether these actions reduced suspicions of sorcery and the risk of subsequent violence as the family had anticipated is unclear. However, given a recent rise in post-mortem requests from regions of PNG with some of the highest rates of sorcery-related killings it seems prudent to further investigate the role of post-mortems in the prevention of sorcery-related violence and killings.

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Forensic Pathology of Traumatic Brain Injury

Veterinary Pathology November 17, 2015 0300985815612155

Traumatic brain injury constitutes a significant proportion of cases requiring forensic examination, and it encompasses (1) blunt, nonmissile head injury, especially involving motor vehicle accidents, and (2) penetrating, missile injury produced by a range of high- and lower-velocity projectiles. This review examines the complex pathophysiology and biomechanics of both types of neurotrauma and assesses the macroscopic and histologic features of component lesions, which may be used to determine the cause and manner of death resulting from an intentional assault or accident. Estimation of the survival time postinjury by pathologic examination is also important where malicious head injury is suspected, in an attempt to ascertain a time at which the traumatic event might have been committed, thereby evaluating the authenticity of statements made by the alleged perpetrator.

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