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Virtual Autopsy

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Today’s USA Today has a most interesting piece on the new procedure, dubbed the “Virtopsy” by its inventors at the University of Berne [Switzerland].

It combines multi-slice computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging with a 3-D body surface scan like that used in automobile design.

What emerges is a 3-D portrait of the corpse which leaves the actual physical body intact.

This new procedure offers a non-invasive alternative to the standard autopsy that ends with the body carved and eviscerated, its organs stacked on a stainless-steel table alongside the empty carcass.

Many families refuse a real autopsy because of dismay at the idea of a loved one being reduced to pieces. Many religions forbid autopsies.

Read the full story here.

The inventors predict it will take 10-15 years for the results of their procedure to be fully accepted in court. I agree. Even DNA profiling took that long, and it’s much simpler conceptually.

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