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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ivan Damjanov, MD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This the third edition of a comprehensive forensic pathology book of 34 chapters that range in content from the fundamentals of the forensic autopsy through an expansive discussion of death by poisoning which is detailed over eight separate chapters. The previous edition was published in 1996.
Purpose: The authors state that they wish to maintain "the philosophy of evidence-based forensic pathology with emphasis on the avoidance of over-interpretation." These objectives are met through appropriately detail-oriented discussion of various injuries, causes of death, and potentially misleading causes of suspicious autopsy findings.
Audience: The authors state that this book is intended for both pathologists and nonpathologists who are involved in the examination of bodies found under suspicious circumstances. The book contains appropriate detail to be useful to the seasoned forensic pathologist. Chapters also outline more fundamental concepts in order to make this a valuable reference for pathology students or residents.
Features: The mechanical aspects of the autopsy, the pathophysiology of death, and the details of specific types of injury and autopsy findings are extensively covered. Exceptional attention is given to poisonings. There are numerous color photographs, illustrations, and algorithms. Exhaustive references end each chapter. A short index is included at the beginning of each chapter highlighting the topics covered. The book avoids discussion of the medicolegal aspects of forensic pathology because of the different applicability of the topic in different jurisdictions.
Assessment: This is a comprehensive and well-written book by a recognized authority. The excellent use of color illustrations and descriptive captions enhances points made in the text and make the book extremely enjoyable to read. This is a current, authoritative book, which remains one of the foremost references for the practice of forensic pathology.