PSY 4470 Week 2 Assignment 2 Assessing Crime Pathology
Forensic pathology is pathology that focuses on determining the cause of death by examining a corpse. A post mortem examination is performed by a medical examiner or forensic pathologist, usually during the investigation of criminal law cases and civil law cases in some jurisdictions. Coroners and medical examiners are also frequently asked to confirm the identity of remains.
Forensic pathology is an application of medical jurisprudence. A forensic pathologist is a medical doctor who has completed training in anatomical pathology and has subsequently specialized in forensic pathology. The requirements for becoming a “fully qualified” forensic pathologist vary from country to country. Some of the different requirements are discussed below.
The forensic pathologist performs autopsies/postmortem examinations with the goal determining the cause of death as well as the possible manner of death. The autopsy report contains conclusions made relating to the following:
The pathological process, injury, or disease that directly results in or initiates a series of events that lead to a person’s death (also called the mechanism of death), such as a bullet wound to the head, exsanguination caused by a stab wound, manual or ligature strangulation, myocardial infarction resulting from coronary artery disease, etc.)
The manner of death, the circumstances surrounding the cause of death, which, in most jurisdictions, include the following:
The autopsy also provides an opportunity for other issues raised by the death to be addressed, such as the collection of trace evidence or determining the identity of the deceased. Autopsies are performed when a death occurs, when an unexpected death occurs, when someone dies while not under the care of a physician, to solve criminal cases, when a mass disaster occurs and requires the identification of the victims and upon request by the family or loved ones of the deceased. Typically, autopsies can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000, however the price can vary from country to country.
The forensic pathologist examines and documents wounds and injuries, along with the possible causation of those injuries, at autopsy, at the scene of a crime and occasionally in a clinical setting, such as rape investigation or deaths in custody.
Forensic pathologists collect and examine tissue specimens under the microscope (histology) to identify the presence or absence of natural disease and other microscopic findings such as asbestos bodies in the lungs or gunpowder particles around a gunshot wound.
They collect and interpret toxicological specimens of body tissues and fluids to determine the chemical cause of accidental overdoses or deliberate poisonings.
Forensic pathologists work closely with the medico-legal authority for the area concerned with the investigation of sudden and unexpected deaths: the coroner (England and Wales), procurator fiscal (Scotland), or coroner or medical examiner (United States].
In mass disaster settings, forensic pathologists will work alongside Forensic Odontologists, Forensics Anthropologists as well as other forensic specialties with the goal of identifying the victims of the disaster. The process of identification involves the recovery of the victims, the collection of antemortem data, the initial examination along with the collection of any postmortem evidence, and finally the comparison of the antemortem and postmortem data gathered in order to identify those victims.
They serve as expert witnesses in courts of law testifying in civil or criminal law cases.
In an autopsy, the forensic pathologist is often assisted by an autopsy/mortuary technician (sometimes called a diener in the US).
Forensic physicians sometimes referred to as “forensic medical examiners” or “police surgeons” (in the UK until recently), are medical doctors trained in the examination of, and provision of medical treatment to, living victims of assault, including sexual assault, and individuals who find themselves in police custody. Many forensic physicians in the UK practice clinical forensic medicine part-time, and they also practice family medicine or another medical specialty.
In the United Kingdom, membership of the Royal College of Pathologists is not a prerequisite of appointment as a coroner’s medical expert. Doctors in the UK who are not forensic pathologists or pathologists are allowed to perform medicolegal autopsies, as the wording of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, which merely stipulates a “registered medical practitioner”: anyone on the General Medical Council register.
Forensic pathologists make great contributions to public health and preventative medicine by studying the dead. By using their findings during autopsies, they can use their knowledge to prevent the death of another person.
Discussion Questions (DQ)
• Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
• Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
• One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
• I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
• Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
• In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
• Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
• Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
• Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
• Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
• I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
• I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
• As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
• It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
• For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
• Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
• Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
• Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
• The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
• Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
• If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
• I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
• As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
• Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
o Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
o Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.