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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 65299 Find in a Library
Title: PART-TIME PROSECTOR REVISITED - MEDICOLEGAL AUTOPSIES IN A COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
Journal: CANADIAN SOCIETY OF FORENSIC SCIENCE JOURNAL  Volume:12  Issue:3  Dated:(SEPTEMBER 1979)  Pages:101-112
Author(s): H E EMSON; E A EDWARDS
Corporate Author: Canadian Soc of Forensic Science
Canada
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Canadian Soc of Forensic Science
Ottawa, Ontario K1K OH2, Canada
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THE FORENSIC AUTOPSY SERVICE IN A CANADIAN COMMUNITY HOSPITAL'S PATHOLOGY DEPARTMENT WAS EXAMINED OVER AN 8-YEAR PERIOD TO EVALUATE MEDICOLEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF AUTOPSIES DONE BY PART-TIME PROSECUTORS.
Abstract: POLICY CHANGES IN SASKATCHEWAN HAVE CAUSED A SHIFT FROM THE PERFORMANCE OF MEDICOLEGAL AUTOPSIES BY NONPATHOLOGISTS, TO THEIR REFERRAL TO SPECIALISTS, THOUGH THE NUMBERS AND PROPORTIONS CANNOT READILY BE DETERMINED. ONE OF THE RESULTS OF THIS CENTRALIZATON TENDENCY HAS BEEN GREATER STRESS ON THE SMALL NUMBER OF PATHOLOGISTS IN SASKATCHEWAN. THIS STUDY COVERED THE PERIOD FROM 1970 THROUGH 1977, DURING WHICH TIME 1,572 AUTOPSIES WERE PERFORMED AT ST. PAUL'S HOSPITAL IN SASKATCHEWAN BY ONE PART-TIME AND TWO FULL-TIME PATHOLOGISTS. OF THE 1,572 AUTOPSIES, 948 OR 60 PERCENT SHOWED DEATH FROM NATURAL CAUSES; 624 DEATHS OR 40 PERCENT RESULTED FROM UNNATURAL CAUSES. UNNATURAL CAUSES INCLUDED ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDETNS, OTHER ACCIDENTS (POISONING, DROWNING, BURNS, LIGHT PLANE CRASHES, FALL, ASPHYXIA, ASPIRATION OF VOMIT, AND ACCIDENTALLY SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUNDS), SUICIDE, AND HOMICIDE (STABBING, BEATING, GUNSHOT WOUNDS, STRANGULATION, CHILD BATTERING, CARD HOOD ON NECK, AND THROWN OUT OF WINDOW). FINDINGS DEMONSTRATED GRADUAL SHIFTS IN THE PROPORTION AND TYPE OF CASE HANDLED BY PART-TIME PROSECTORS. SOME CHANGES WERE RELATED TO EXTERNAL SOCIAL TRENDS, WHILE OTHER CHANGES WERE DUE TO SHIFTS IN THE MEDICOLEGAL SYSTEM. OVERALL, WITH THE USE OF PART-TIME PROSECUTORS, THE LONG DISTANCES TO BE TRAVELED FOR COURT APPEARANCES; AND THE SMALL NUMBER OF FORENSIC PERSONNEL, THE MEDICOLEGAL SYSTEM WAS STRAINED. TRENDS INDICATE A NEED FOR MORE EMPHASIS ON CONTINUING EDUCATION AND THE UPGRADING OF SERVICES TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF AUTOPSIES AND THEIR EVALUATION. SUPPORTING DATA AND REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Canada; Forensic medicine; Medicolegal considerations; Saskatchewan; Services effectiveness
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65299

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