Virtual Autopsy: No cuts to body, no hurt feelings

Headline : Virtual Autopsy: No cuts to body, no hurt feelings

Details :

The News

  • Forensic medicine team at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences is starting an experiment for virtual Autopsy.
  • The project will be funded by ICMR under its new initiative to select 10 projects for funding under ‘Centre for Advanced Research and Excellence program’.


About Autopsy (Post-Mortem)

  • Autopsy is the procedure to examine the external and internal organs of the deceased to assess the cause and manner of death by opening the body.
  • Post-mortem is essential in case of unnatural death like suicide, accident or murder, as it is an important part of police investigation to identify the cause and manner of death.
  • Most families don’t want it done because their grief of losing a family member aggravates when they have to look at the deceased’s dissected body after post-mortem.


About Virtual Autopsy

  • Virtual autopsy is examining the internal organs, tissues and bones in the dead body without touching it.
  • There will be no dissection of the body, no cuts and no opening.
  • In the process of virtual autopsy, the body is packed in a bag, which is then put through a CT scan machine and within seconds, thousands of images of the internal organs are captured, which are analysed further by forensic experts.




Significance of Virtual Autopsy

  • Intact body: As there is no dissection of the body in the virtual autopsy unlike the conventional autopsy, the body of the deceased remains intact.
  • Less time consuming: Autopsies through conventional methods takes between 30 minutes to three days, depending on the complexity of the case and the availability of experts, which is time consuming whereas in virtual autopsy, just in few seconds approximately 25000 images are taken.
  • Improved quality of assessment: In virtual Autopsy, internal bleeding, bullet paths, and hidden fractures can also be detected, that are hard to find in conventional autopsy.
  • Additional analysis: In virtual autopsy, the deceased’s records are available in digital format and thus it permits additional analysis by other forensic pathologists on the same body, even second or third opinion can be taken even after years if some allegations crop up in the future.
  • Improve investigation: This will also improve the investigation of the cases related to unnatural deaths.
  • Already proven method: It is an established practice in many western countries, for example Switzerland, USA and Australia are already using imaging techniques for Autopsy.
Section : Science & Tech