Forensic Pathology

Principles and Practice


  • David Dolinak, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office, US
  • Evan Matshes, Associate Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, US
  • Emma Lew, Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA

Forensic Pathology: Principles and Practice is an extensively illustrated reference book that contains more than 1800 color photographs accompanied by well-considered text that thoroughly explains representative topics, and also provides abundant, up-to-date references for further reading. This well-written volume uses a case-oriented format to address, explain and guide the reader through the varied topics encountered by forensic pathologists. It will benefit not only the experienced forensic pathologist, but also the hospital pathologist who occasionally performs medicolegal autopsies. Doctors in training and those law enforcement officials investigating the broad spectrum of sudden, unexpected and violent deaths that may fall within the jurisdiction of medicolegal death investigators will also find this an invaluable resource.
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Pathologists, Forensic Pathologists, Medical Examiners, medical and forensic science students, law enforcement, crime scene investigators, Attorneys, fellows and students of the medical sciences


Book information

  • Published: April 2005
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-219951-6


“Forensic Pathology: Principles & Practice is the first text of Forensic Pathology that provides in-depth discussion, fairly balances controversial topics, is lavishly illustrated, and provides practical guidelines.” — Charles V. Wetli, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner & Director of Forensic Sciences, Suffolk County, NY “The book under review is what one would always like to have on one’s desk. It is informative, factual, well-referenced, exhaustive and extremely well illustrated. It immediately grasps one’s attention not only because it gives practical tips throughout, but also because of its rich and profuse illustrations. How richly is the book illustrated can be gauged by the fact that there are a total of more than 1800 photographs (all in full color) scattered over 671 pages of text – about 3 photographs per page! There are some other interesting features in this book too, which set it apart from other run-of-the-mill kind of texts. One which I especially liked – and am sure, most others will like too – is a feature called “take home message”. You can read the text and cases, and then the editors will tend to drive home the point through this feature. This feature should be most useful for younger pathologists and those in training for whom this book is an absolute must. The book is full of such practical tips throughout. To my mind the two most valuable features of this book are its rich and profuse illustrations and its practical tips. Most current books are deficient in these. This book can be heartily recommended not only to trainees and younger pathologists, who obviously would benefit greatly from this book, but also to senior pathologists if only to re-alert them to certain common pitfalls. Certainly everyone would get to see a number of unique cases irrespective of the level of his experience. Besides pathologists at whom this book is mainly aimed, it should also prove useful for police officers, coroners, magistrates and all other law enforcement officers. Illustrative photographs should prove useful to this section. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and this book is going to my companion for the rest of my life.” — Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology “The text is richly supported by color photographs that are nothing short of spectacular. . .This text will serve as a reference for the practicing forensic pathologist. Additionally, those embarking upon preparation for the Board examination in forensic pathology will find this text very useful.” — Journal of Forensic Science “This book is, undoubtedly, the most extensively illustrated textbook of forensic pathology so far. When reading Forensic Pathology, one recognizes very quickly that this book is created by highly experienced forensic pathologists. The book is well written and the references are up to date.” — Michael Tsokos, MD, Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Table of Contents

a. Forewordb. Preface1. Medicolegal investigation of death2. Death Scene Investigation3. The Forensic Autopsy4. Sudden Natural Death5. Blunt force injury6. Sharp Force Injuries7. Firearm Injuries8. Asphyxia9. Drowning10. Environmental Injury11. Motor Vehicle Collisions12. Aviation13. Death in Custody14. Artifacts of Resuscitation and Complications of Medical Therapy15. Apparent Natural Death in Infants16. Sudden Natural Death in Childhood17. Child abuse18. Elder Abuse19. Forensic Neuropathology20. Sexual Battery Investigation21. Toxicology22. Acute Psychiatric and Emotional Deaths23. Pregnancy24. Postmortem Changes25. Identification26. Forensic Osteology27. Forensic Odontology28. Forensic Photography29. Select Autopsy Topics30. Death Certification31. The Pathologist as Expert Witness32. Index