decision making in histopathology and forensic pathology


Archimedes thoughtful (Domenico Fetti 1620)

Source: Wikimedia


For some time it has occurred to me to wonder by what method, in the past, I arrived at the conclusions that I did in relation to the autopsies that I performed. At the time it seemed very straightforward. I would carry out the dissection, make the observations, and reach some conclusions with relatively little effort, apparently by making some process of inspiration. If anyone had asked me to explain the process, which fortunately no one did, I would probably have said that 'it was all a matter of experience', implying that frequent contact with a range of scenes of death and subsequent autopsies had implanted into my mind some kind of innate ability to discover the truth about the circumstances of a case, without going through any conscious scheme of thought.

Nowadays, in retirement, I sometimes wonder how reliable my flashes of inspiration were, and what would have happened if, in Court, I had been asked to explain the processes of my reasoning. I am sure that I would have had difficulty ...

Professor David Gee (1995)


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