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Korean Journal of Legal Medicine 1989;13(2):30-36.
Postmortem Examination of Sudden, Unexpected Deaths
Eui-U Park
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Konkuk University
Every unexpected death has an actual or potential medicolegal aspect, and such deaths come under the scrutiny of a medicolegal investigative official. He has the responsibility for establishing the cause and manner of death in these unanticipated fatalities and also in those in which violence of some type is known or alleged to have played a part. The more unexpected the death, the more likely it is to be unexplained. From the medicolegal point of view, the principal objective in the investigation of sudden, unexpected death is the determination of the manner of death. One basis for the deep interest of the law in sudden and unexpected death derives from the fact that one type (manner) of death frequently masquerades as another.
without an autopsy cannot always be accurate. Deaths from natural causes often occur so rapidly or in such fashion or under such circumstances as to suggest erroneously that violence has somehow been involved. On the contrary, there is always a possibility that a death presumed to be natural may be an unnatural one. The presence of previously diagnosed, far-advanced natural disease affords no guarantee that violence played no part in the death. A systematic listing of pathological lesions causing sudden and unexpected natural death is provided.


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