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Death: Meaning, Manner, Mechanism, Cause, and Time.

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Presentation on theme: "Death: Meaning, Manner, Mechanism, Cause, and Time."— Presentation transcript:

1 Death: Meaning, Manner, Mechanism, Cause, and Time

2 Did You Know? As late at the 17 th century people were often buried alive (no stethoscopes) – Weak heartbeats, coma Lead to practice of burying people in coffins with a bell. – May have led to the expression, “saved by the bell!”

3 Video Real Life CSI: Crime Autopsy

4 Death Defined Death- Cessation, or end, of life – Irreversible cessation of circulation of blood Heart stops beating and cannot be restarted No Oxygen source to cells – Cessation of brain activity Cessation of all brain activity – Experts do not agree on a single definition of death A TOUGH QUESTION- Is a person with a heartbeat alive even if there is no brain activity?

5 Stages of Death It is difficult to pinpoint the exact point at which someone has died, death is a process rather than an instant event. The moment of death is usually considered the point of no return 2 Stages – Stoppage- basic processes of body fail to occur Caused by lack of oxygen as cells throughout the body begin to die (No ATP) Eventually nerves, muscles, organs and the brain stop working – Autolysis- Cells breaking down As a cell dies it breaks down As the cell membrane dissolves, enzymes and other cell contents spill out and digest surrounding tissues Once enough cells begin to break down, life cannot be restarted

6 Manner of Death The manner of death can be… – Natural- most common Interruption and failure of body functions resulting from age or disease. – Accidental Unplanned events such as car accidents or falling from a ladder – Suicidal A person purposely kills oneself Can be difficult to determine (accidental vs suicidal) – Homicidal A person or persons kills another person or persons – Undetermined Sometimes the manner of death can be difficult to determine

7 Questions To Ponder??? A man with a heart condition is attacked and dies form a heart attack during the assault. Is the manner of death accident or homicide? An elderly woman dies after being kept form receiving proper health care from her son.

8 Cause and Mechanism of Death Cause of Death- The reason for the death. – Disease, physical injury, heart attack ect.. – Blunt force trauma, shooting, strangulation ect… Mechanism- is the specific change in the body that brought about the cessation of life – Blood lost, pulmonary arrest (heart stops beating) ect…

9 Forensic Pathology Investigation of the sudden, unnatural, unexplained or violent deaths Autopsy – External and internal examination of the body of the deceased person. Performed by a specialized medical doctor called a FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST (commonly known as medical examiner or coroner) in cases of suspicious or unnatural deaths Primary purpose is to determine or confirm… – Time of Death (TOD) » can incriminate or exonerate a suspect or person of interest – Manner, cause and method of death May include inspection of stomach contents – Time of Death May also include obtaining biological specimens or tissues from the deceased for toxicological testing – Testing for poisons and/or drugs and alcohol

10 The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, by Rembrandt, depicts an autopsyAnatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp Rembrandt

11 Also may be involved… Forensic Anthropologist – Identification and examination of human skeletal remains. Entomologist – Specialists in the study of insects can help determine time of death. We’ll talk more about these specialists and their roles later

12 Lab Tomorrow Tomorrow we will be performing an autopsy. We must familiarize ourselves with the following anatomical terms


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