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"Definition of Forensic Pathologist/Pathology"

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Updated: September 23, 2006

Definition:
A physician with specialized medical and forensic science training and knowledge.

In practice, forensic pathologists concentrate closely on the understanding of types and causation of injuries and causes of sudden and unnatural death.

Forensic pathologists are commonly involved in death scene investigations, the performance of forensic autopsies (forensic autopsies have a different focus than that of hospital autopsies conducted in cases of natural death), review of medical records, interpretation of toxicology and other laboratory studies, certification of sudden and unnatural deaths, and court testimony in criminal and civil law proceedings.

Related Term: Forensic Pathology, Forensic Medicine
The branch of medical science that uses medical knowledge for legal purposes.

A branch of medicine that applies the principles and knowledge of the medical and related sciences to problems that concern the general public and issues of the law.

See Also: Medical Examiner

Sources:
Pierce County Medical Examiner. Definitions. Forensic Pathologist. http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/me/define.htm
DeSpelder LA. Strickland AL. 2005. The Last Dance: Encountering Death and Dying. 7th Edition. New York, N.Y.: McGraw Hill.
WordNet Search - 2.1. Forensic Pathology. Cognitive Science Laboratory. Princeton University. At: http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=forensic pathology

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