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.

Key Features

* Large, colorful photographs which beautifully illustrate the concepts outlined in the text. * Sample descriptions of pathological lesions which serve to aid pathologists in reporting their findings to law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and others involved in investigations of sudden death. * 'Do and Don't' sections at the end of each chapter which provide guidance for handling the types of cases examined within preceding sections.


Pathologists, Forensic Pathologists, Medical Examiners, medical and forensic science students, law enforcement, crime scene investigators, Attorneys, fellows and students of the medical sciences

Table of Contents

a. Foreword b. Preface 1. Medicolegal investigation of death 2. Death Scene Investigation 3. The Forensic Autopsy 4. Sudden Natural Death 5. Blunt force injury 6. Sharp Force Injuries 7. Firearm Injuries 8. Asphyxia 9. Drowning 10. Environmental Injury 11. Motor Vehicle Collisions 12. Aviation 13. Death in Custody 14. Artifacts of Resuscitation and Complications of Medical Therapy 15. Apparent Natural Death in Infants 16. Sudden Natural Death in Childhood 17. Child abuse 18. Elder Abuse 19. Forensic Neuropathology 20. Sexual Battery Investigation 21. Toxicology 22. Acute Psychiatric and Emotional Deaths 23. Pregnancy 24. Postmortem Changes 25. Identification 26. Forensic Osteology 27. Forensic Odontology 28. Forensic Photography 29. Select Autopsy Topics 30. Death Certification 31. The Pathologist as Expert Witness 32. Index


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© 2005
Academic Press
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About the authors

David Dolinak

David Dolinak is Chief Medical Examiner for Austin, TX. He has published and lectured extensively in the neurosciences and forensic pathology. In conjunction with Evan Matshes he has produced the very well received text “Medicolegal Neuropathology: A Color Atlas.”

Affiliations and Expertise

Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office, US

Evan Matshes

Evan Matshes is the Assistant Chief Medical Examiner for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has published and lectured extensively in human anatomy and osteology, the neurosciences, and forensic pathology. In addition to his aforementioned textbook publishing, he was also a co-author on “An Atlas of Human Osteology”, released in 2000 in Canada.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, US

Emma Lew

Affiliations and Expertise

Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA


“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 pr