Medicolegal Autopsy | Anatomy2Medicine
Medicolegal Autopsy

Medicolegal Autopsy

    • The object of conducting a medicolegal autopsy is to find out:
      • cause of death
      • time since death
      • manner of death
    • Shape of incisions  employed during a medicolegal autopsy
      • Y-shaped
      • Modified Y-shaped
      • I-shaped
    • The actual dissection of the body during medicolegal autopsy should be carried out by forensic pathologist himself
    • Essential pre-requisites to carry out a medicolegal autopsy
      • The complete inquest report
      • Identification by the police officer accompanying the body
      • Identification by a relative or two accompanying the body  
    • The consent of the relatives is not a prerequisite for medicolegal autopsy but required for the hospital autopsy, or the pathological autopsy
    • After fixation in formalin, the weight of the brain increases by about 5-10%
    • Psychological autopsy is the name given to an attempt to reconstruct the dead person’s psychological state prior to death (MCQ)
      • Case of State v Jones 1978 – psychologic autopsy provided immunity from punishment
      • a woman killed her sleeping husband got away with a verdict of involuntary manslaughter (a much less serious charge than murder).
      • A psychiatric autopsy done by an expert on her dead husband revealed that he used to batter his wife (the defendant) and on the night of the killing, her husband had even announced to her that he was going to kill their children before she woke up.
      • The results of this psychological autopsy went in favor of the woman who got away with a much lesser sentence.

 

  • Cardiac valves and diameter

 

      • Tricuspid –12 cm (largest diameter) (MCQ)
      • Mitral-10 cm
      • Pulmonary -8.5 cm
      • Aortic – 7.5 cm (smallest diameter)
    • “Cardiac polyp” is a term used for postmortem fibrinous clots in hearts (MCQ)

 

  • Sub- arachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) vs subdural hemorrhage (SDH) on postmortem (MCQ)

 

      • Subdura! hemorrhage can be washed off, while subarachnoid can not be washed off during autopsy
      • Subarachnoid is covered with arachnoid membrane
      • Subdural hemorrhage is exposed after removal of skull and dura.

 

  • “Undertaker’s fracture (MCQ)

 

    • commonly seen in cervical spine at about C6-C7
    • Undertaker’s fracture is basically a post mortem fracture
    • It  occurs due to careless handling of the dead body by undertakers
    • After postmortem examination, the body has to be handed over to the investigating officer by the forensic doctor (MCQ)
      • the investigating officer is police in cases of police inquest and magistrate in cases of magisterial inquest
      • It is the investigating officer who passes on the body to the relatives.
      • The relatives then take the body to the crematorium or burial ground.

 

  • About 6″ of large bone is required to be preserved in Arsenic and antimony poisoning (MCQ).