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Lecture #7

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Forensic Science
Hisham Ragab

stNovember 1 2011Lecture 7Forensic pathologyIt is a subspecialty of pathology and is concerned with the application of pathological principles to the investigation of the medicolegal aspects of deathAre medically qualified doctors who perform autopsies necropsypostmortem examinations at the request of a coroner or medical examiner usually during the investigation of criminal law cases and civil law casesThe objectives of medicolegal examinationidentification of the deceasedidentify the medical cause of deathdetermine the manner of deathaccident suicide or homicideinterpretation of injuriescollect trace evidence from the bodiesdetermine the time of death PMItestify in the court to the findingsMedicolegal casesviolent deathssudden and unexpected deathsdeaths have no attending physiciandeaths that are suspicious may be violentdeaths in custodyCoronermedical examinerthe title of medical examiner could be used by a non physician elected official involved in medicolegal death investigation In others the law requires the medical examiner to be a physician pathologist or forensic pathologistsimilarly the title coroner is applied to both physicians and non physicians Historically in some jurisdictions the title of coroner is exclusively used by physiciansHistory of Both Systemsththe coroner system dates back to the 9 century were coroners were appointed by the king they were called CROWNERS This word changed over the century to become coronerthe medical examiner system originated in Boston in 1877 required medical examiners to be licensed medical practitionersCoroners and Medical Examiners in USAin the United States a coroner is typically an elected public official in a particular geographic area who investigates and certifies deaths The vast majority of coroners lack a DOCTOR OF MEDICINE DEGREEin contract a medical examiner is typically a physician who holds the degree of doctor of medicine Ideally a medical examiner has completed both a pathology residency and a fellowship in forensic pathologySystem in CanadaIn Canada there is a mix of coroner and medical examiner systems depending on the province or territory In Ontario coroners are licensed
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