SCB proposes govt to adopt virtual autopsy

The method involves conducting postmortem by scanning the organs, bones and tissues 
SCB Medical College and Hospital (File Photo |EPS)
SCB Medical College and Hospital (File Photo |EPS)

CUTTACK: The Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (FMT) department in SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCB MCH) has proposed the State government to adopt the virtual autopsy procedure in its legal system.Virtual autopsy involves conducting postmortem by scanning the organs, bones and tissues instead of making an incision or dissecting the body. 

At present, postmortem is being conducted by the traditional method of dissecting bodies in order to access different parts and organs for examination. The bodies are being disfigured resulting in emotional distress of the kin of the deceased. However, under virtual autopsy, the bodies will be examined without dissection involving imaging methods of scanning and imaging technology such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), etc. 

“Since virtual autopsy is non-invasive, it is less traumatic for surviving family members and may not violate religious practice against violating bodily integrity,” said head of the department Prof Geeta Sahu. 
Virtual autopsy will help in adequately documenting the forensic findings thereby providing a complete and true picture of the object. The choice of methods is further supplemented with 3D imaging-guided biopsy systems and postmortem angiography. Moreover, virtual autopsy will be helpful in examining the infected bodies, Sahu informed. 

“We are conducting 12 to 15 autopsies per day. Last year, 3,500 bodies were examined by the department,” Sahu said. If the government approves the proposal and provides necessary infrastructure, Virtopsy will herald a new era in the field of FMT in Odisha, Sahu added. The government had earlier sought suggestions from all the departments of SCB MCH to chalk out a redevelopment plan. Following which, the department has submitted its proposal recently.

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