Principles of Forensic Pathology

Principles of Forensic Pathology

From Investigation to Certification

1st Edition - October 30, 2022

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  • Authors: Susan F. Ely, James R. Gill
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780323917964
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323986397

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Principles of Forensic Pathology: From Investigation to Certification offers a conceptual framework and foundational approach to a forensic practice grounded by evidence-based and mechanistic thinking. This book uses a systematic approach to address, explain, and guide the reader through diverse topics relevant to forensic pathologists and medicolegal death investigators. Nineteen chapters provide a comprehensive overview of the field of forensic pathology and discusses central topics such as scene investigation, the pathophysiology of death, death certification, the forensic autopsy, forensic imaging, pediatric forensic pathology, the importance of context, and approaches to frequently encountered medicolegal death circumstances, with mental checklists and suggestions for a consistent and considered approach. Written by forensic professionals, this book is a practical, yet comprehensive compendium for practicing forensic pathologists, coroners, medicolegal death investigators, forensic pathology fellows, pathology residents, medical students interested in forensic pathology, lawyers, and law enforcement professionals.

Key Features

  • Presents a primary text that is ideal for daily forensic practice
  • Discusses how to properly investigate and certify death in a consistent and defensible way
  • Emphasizes best practices in the field, providing an approach that is in line with today's forensic pathologist


Forensic pathology fellows, pathology residents and medical students interested in forensic pathology; medicolegal death investigators and coroners

Table of Contents

  • 1. Forensic pathology: overview
    2. Thinking forensically: planning, anticipating, observing, documenting, inquiring, synthesizing, opining, and communicating, in that order
    3. The pathophysiology of death and death certification
    4. The scene investigation, postmortem changes, and time of death
    5. The forensic autopsy
    6. Approach to forensic perinatal and pediatric pathology
    7. Approach to natural deaths (adult)
    8. Approach to medical intervention-related deaths
    9. Approach to firearms deaths
    10. Approach to blunt, sharp, and transportation deaths
    11. Approach to asphyxial deaths
    12. Approach to burns, blast, and radiation injury
    13. Approach to environmental deaths
    14. Approach to toxicological deaths
    15. Special topics: in-custody deaths, physical altercations, neglect (adult), approach to unexpected hemorrhage, and delayed and concealed homicides
    16. Communication
    17. The forensic pathologist's public health role
    18. Developments in postmortem imaging
    19. Recent and ongoing technological advancements in forensic pathology practice
    I. Appendices
    Appendix A. Formats of autopsy report final diagnoses
    Appendix B. Format of the autopsy report
    Appendix C. Autopsy report templates
    Appendix D. Library for forensic pathology fellows
    Appendix E. Hirschisms and Adelsonisms

Product details

  • No. of pages: 614
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: October 30, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780323917964
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323986397

About the Authors

Susan F. Ely

Dr. Ely is currently the Fellowship Training Program Director and a senior medical examiner for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Forensic Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. * The views expressed in the ‘Principles of Forensic Pathology: From Investigation to Certification’ do not necessarily represent the views of the City, OCME, or New York University.

Affiliations and Expertise

Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York, Department of Forensic Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, NY, United States * The views expressed in the ‘Principles of Forensic Pathology: From Investigation to Certification’ do not necessarily represent the views of the City of New York or of New York University.

James R. Gill

Dr. Gill is the current Chief Medical Examiner of Connecticut, current Chair of the Forensic Pathology Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and a past President of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). He has faculty medical appointments at Yale University, University of Connecticut, and Quinnipiac University. He did his pathology training at Yale and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He did his forensic pathology fellowship at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (with Dr. Ely) under the direction of Dr. Charles. S. Hirsch. Prior to Connecticut, he was the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for Bronx County in New York City. He has testified over 400 times in criminal and civil matters in State and Federal courts and has published over 100 scientific articles and book chapters on a variety of forensic pathology topics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chief Medical Examiner of Connecticut; Yale University, University of Connecticut, and Quinnipiac University faculty medical school appointments

Ratings and Reviews

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  • Eugene W. Sun Nov 20 2022

    Stellar and Sweet - THE Forensic Pathology Textbook

    The chapters, writing, research interpretation, practical application into practice are all beyond reproach. This textbook is an instant classic and sets the bar for the field of Forensics. Bravo Drs. Ely and Gill.

  • Charles M. Mon May 16 2022

    Forensic Pathologist of Ulster County N.Y.

    This is a great book giving profound insight into the practice of forensic medicine. I strongly recommend it.