FRS 402: Forensic Pathology


Learning Outcomes
At the completion of this course, students should be able to:
1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of global medical jurisprudence and Nigerian laws related to death investigations;
2. recognize and interpret documentary evidence, such as medical certificates, medical reports and death declaration;
3. describe basic forensic pathology terms for estimation of post-mortem interval;
4. recognize and interpret early and intermediate changes following death;
5. describe the ways in which disease and trauma affect the body; and,
6. identify and document proof, including scars, dentures, professional marks, fingerprints, skeletal remains, etc.

Course Contents
Introduction: global medical jurisprudence, legal procedure in Nigeria: -police, magistrate’s and coroner’s inquests. Oath and affirmation. Documentary evidence: -medical certificates, medical reports, death declaration. Understanding laws and ethics of medical practice. Death: – medico- legal aspects of death. Diagnosis of death-somatic and molecular. Early and intermediate changes following death. Late changes after death-putrefaction, autolysis, bacterial action, factors affecting these changes. Determination of time since death, including histopathological methods. Post-mortem examination: – ante- and post – mortem examinations; external and internal examination; collection, preservation and packaging of viscera. Role of a Forensic pathologist. Wounds: definition, types and identification. Medico–legal aspects of wounds. Determining the age of the injury, ante–mortem, post–mortem injuries; abrasions, grazes, lacerations, Bruises and contusion. Punctured wounds and incised wounds – causes, dimensions, ante – mortem, post – mortem analysis and its medico-legal aspects. Difference between suicidal, homicidal and accidental wounds. Wound/Terminal Ballistics: – introduction, injuries and the quantity of energy of projectiles. Shock wave and cavitation effect. Wounding mechanism, Elements of wound Ballistics. Nature of target, velocity of projectile, constructional features of projectile. Contact, point blank, near, chips and distant ranges. Penetration of shots in different regions of the body. Personal Identification: importance and need for personal identification, cases that will require personal identification. Documents proof: scars, professional marks, personal articles, finger printings, dentures, sketches and photographs, skeletal remains. Identification in mass disasters, mutilated remains and decomposed bodies.