Conventional autopsy or Virtopsy

In today’s television series and dramas you would come across scenes in which you can view video images and detailed scans of the victim’s body involved in a crime scene. These TV dramas basically promote virtopsy which as per autopsy and body imaging experts at The Johns Hopkins Hospital cannot replace the popular traditional autopsy. No doubt, full-body computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, X-ray and angiography are some of the great virtual imaging technologies however these are no match for the direct physical inspection of the body’s main organs.

According to pathologist Elizabeth Burton, M.D., deputy director of the autopsy service at Johns Hopkins, traditional autopsy is though not performed too often, yet it remains the standard way of knowing how the people die. Burton and Johns Hopkins clinical fellow Mahmud Mossa-Basha, M.D. on the other hand have given their own set of explanations as to why the concept of virtopsy is getting more popular and replacing conventional autopsy. On the other hand, as per Burton the imaging techniques which are used in today’s times if combined with other autopsies are one of the best ways to determine how the death occurred and this is what really matters, the method which works the best.
Conventional autopsy or Virtopsy

However, as per John Hopkins, there are certain diagnoses which are not taken into account when the imaging results are compared to those which are found after the autopsy is done. Hence there is no yet established proof that virtopsy is a better option as compared to the traditional autopsy.

Besides, Burton quotes that as per the findings in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the hospital autopsy rates have fallen from a 50percent to around 10 percent in today’s times. There are a number of reasons which are responsible for the fall in the conventional autopsy rates. One of the reasons is the medical overconfidence in diagnostic imaging which explains the decline pretty well and also a great number of diagnostic errors which are responsible for the same.

But finally Burton interprets that if all the right considerations are taken into account and the clinical guidelines are abided to then such diagnostic tests can product appropriate results. She also believes that the present diagnostic techniques are reliable enough to confirm the cause of death rather than seeking the permission of the family members to perform the conventional autopsy.

Conventional autopsy or Virtopsy
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