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ABORTION

  1. I will not aid a woman to produce abortion.

    -Hippocratic Oath

  2. All your better deeds shall be in water writ.

    -Philaster II, IV (Cited in "Recent Advances in Forensic Pathology" edited by Francis E. Camps, J.& A. Churchill Ltd., 1969, on page 88, in Chapter 5 entitled "Abortion and its complications")

ACCIDENTS

  1. Now and then there is a person born who is so unlucky that he runs into accidents which started out to happen to somebody else.

    -Don Marquis, archys life of mehitabel

AGE ESTIMATION (MEDICOLEGAL ESTIMATION OF AGE)

  1. Attempting to estimate the age of a person from the closure of his skull sutures is no less hazardous than doing so from graying of his hair; the only difference is that the former appears more technical!

    -Anil Aggrawal, Professor of Forensic Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

  2. If the first permanent molar hath not protruded, you can have no hesitation in affirming that the culprit has not passed his seventh year.

    -A.T. Thomson in his classical paper written as far back as 1836. The full quotation of the paper is "Thomson AT. (1836). Lectures on medical jurisprudence now in course of delivery at London University. Lancet 1:281-286 (This quote is reproduced in "Developmental Juvenile Osteology" by Louise Scheuer and Sue Black, Academic Press 2000 on page 12)

ALCOHOL

  1. Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

    -Ogden Nash (1902-71): American writer of light verse

  2. The trouble with liquor is that one drink makes a new man out of you, and then the new man has to have another drink!

    -Alvy Moore

  3. Not drunk is he who from the floor
    Can rise alone and still drink more,
    But drunk is he who prostrate lies
    Without the power to drink or rise.

    -Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866): English novelist and poet

  4. A drunkard is like a whiskey bottle; all neck and belly and no head!

    -Austin O'Malley

  5. In vino veritas (in wine there is truth)

    --Old Roman saying

ANAESTHETIC DEATHS

  1. There are many minor operations, but no minor anesthesias.

    -Kenneth Heard (1897-1948) (Quoted in "Historical Medical Classics involving new drugs, by John C. Krantz, Jr. Ph.D. on page 112)

  2. Care charming sleep, thou loser of all woes.

    -Valentinion V (Cited in "Recent Advances in Forensic Pathology" edited by Francis E. Camps, J.& A. Churchill Ltd., 1969, on page 79, in Chapter 4 entitled "Respiration". This quote appears at the top of a sub-chapter entitled "Anaesthesia for dental treatment")

ANALYSIS AND DEDUCTION

  1. I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.

    -Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia", when Dr. Watson asks him what he makes of a mysterious note which had just arrived.

  2. Whenever you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

    --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Adventures of the Beryl Coronet" -Quoted on the front page of "An Introduction to Forensic DNA Analysis" by Keith Inman and Norah Rudin)

  3. Like all other arts, the Science of Deduction and Analysis is one which can only be acquired through long and patient study.

    -Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Book of Life" (Quoted in "Hard Evidence" By David Fisher at page 1)

ARSON AND FIRE INVESTIGATION

  1. The person who reports finding an arson is usually the person who set the fire.

    -Contributed by Harold J. Porter, Crown Counsel, Newfoundland, Canada (Address: Harold J. Porter, Department of Justice , Civil Division, 4th Floor , East Block,Confederation Building, St. John's Newfoundland A1B 4J6, TEL 709-729-1179, FAX 709-729-2129. Mr. Porter goes on to add "this is not a well-known maxim, but an accurate one, in my limited experience". The quote was sent on 20 December 1999. To me this quote sounds much like "The murderer always returns to the scene of crime". Visitors to this page are welcome to send relevant comments)

  2. Time is an enemy to the fire investigator.

    -Paul E. Pritzker, P.E. (quoted on page 37 in Chapter 3 written by him on "fire investigation" in the book "Forensic Engineering" by Kenneth L. Carper (CRC Press 1998)) (Pritzker follows up the quote with this explanation: When one is called late to investigate a fire, physical evidence may have been altered or may have deteriorated)

  3. Wellington once said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eaton. It is important to prepare before arrival at the fire scene!

    -Paul E. Pritzker, P.E. (quoted on page 35 in Chapter 3 written by him on "fire investigation" in the book "Forensic Engineering" by Kenneth L. Carper (CRC Press 1998))

ASPHYXIA

  1. The term "Asphyxia" is a partial misnomer, as many of the conditions described under this heading are not truly asphyxial in nature; the term is both inappropriate and inaccurate.

    -Bernard Knight (Forensic Pathology, 2nd Edition, page 345)

  2. Anoxia begets anoxia.

    -G.K. Dinker

  3. Petechial hemorrhages, congestion and edema, cyanosis, engorgement of the right heart and fluidity of the blood are the obsolete diagnostic quintet of asphyxial deaths.

    -Lester Adelson ( Quoted by Bernard Knight in his Forensic Pathology, 2nd Edition at page 347)

  4. Traumatic asphyxia provides the most extreme demonstration of the classic signs of asphyxia.

    -Bernard Knight (Forensic Pathology, 2nd Edition, page 358)

  5. His face is black and full of blood,
    His eye balls farther out than when he lived,
    Staring full ghastly, a strangled man,
    His hair upreared, his nostrils stretched with struggling,
    His hands abroad displayed, as one that grasped,
    And tugged for life, and was by strength subdued.

    -William Shakespeare

  6. I thought I could not breathe in that fine air,
    That pure severity of perfect light.

    -Tennyson (Quoted in "The Pathology of Trauma" 2nd Edition, Edited by J.K.Mason, page 204)

    (N.B. Please also look up quotes under "Hanging")

ASPHYXIA, AUTOEROTIC

  1. Those kids are stupid. They don't know what they're doing.

    -A 16 year old boy to his mother, who showed him an article about autoerotic deaths in a newspaper (Reproduced from "Practical Homicide Investigation-Tactics, Procedures, and Forensic Techniques", Second Edition, by Vernon J. Geberth, page 278)

    (N.B. Interestingly, the boy himself was engaged in such activities, and was found dead two weeks later)

  2. Vladimir: “What do we do now?”
    Estragon: “Wait.”
    Vladimir: “Yes, but while waiting.”
    Estragon: “What about hanging ourselves?”
    Vladimir: “Hmm. It’d give us an erection.”
    Estragon: (highly excited) “An erection! ... Let’s hang ourselves immediately!”

    -—Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (reproduced also at page 10 of "Autoerotic Asphyxiation: Forensic, Medical, and Social Aspects" by Sergey Sheleg and Edwin Ehrlich. Wheatmark, Inc. 2006)

ASSAULTS

  1. A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

    -Luke 10:30 (Quoted in "The Pathology of Trauma" 2nd Edition, Edited by J.K.Mason, page 109)

AUTOPSY

  1. The next time I see a doctor, it had better be for an autopsy.

    -A.J. Duhe, linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, after his fifth knee operation, 1985 (Quoted in "The Autopsy-Medical Practice and Public Policy" by Rolla B. Hill and Robert E. Anderson; Butterworths 1988, page 157)

  2. In some autopsy laboratories, the most significant breakthrough during the last 100 years has been the introduction of disposable gloves!

    -Jan Vincents Johannessen et al. 1979 (Quoted in "The Autopsy-Medical Practice and Public Policy" by Rolla B. Hill and Robert E. Anderson; Butterworths 1988, page 175)

  3. There's nothing like an autopsy for prognosis.

    -Anonymous (Contributed by Dean H. Garrison, Jr., Crime Scene Technician.)

  4. Often the autopsy reveals the diseases and lesions that the person lived with, rather than those that killed him!

    -Anonymous

  5. If an autopsy is worth doing at all, it is worth doing right the first time.

    -LeMoyne Snyder in his book "Homicide Investigation", (Third Edition, May 1977) Published by Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, USA, on page 158, in chapter 7 entitled "Homicide due to Gunshot Wounds"

  6. A good pathologist holds a knife just like a violinist holds a bow.

    -Contributed by Dr. Gyan Fernando, Home Office accredited Consultant Forensic Pathologist for Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

  7. We have plenty of post-mortem examinations but often these are useless because the history of the case is not known.

    --J. Kerr Love (1897). Some Modern Aspects of Deaf-Mutism, J. Laryngology, 12, 593 (Quoted in Pathology of the Ear by I. Friedmann, 1974, Blackwell Scientific Publications)

    (N.B. This short and pithy quote, although more than 100 years old, remains valid even today.)

AUTOPSY RISKS

  1. There is still not a single documented case of a pathologist or a technician getting AIDS from their professional activities.

    -Contributed by Dr. Gyan Fernando, Home Office accredited Consultant Forensic Pathologist for Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

  2. The fact that I have never caught anything from an autopsy in 25 years of carving in two different parts of the world should put everyone's mind at ease.

    -Contributed by Dr. Gyan Fernando, Home Office accredited Consultant Forensic Pathologist for Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

  3. You are more likely to injure yourself with blunt knives than with sharp ones!

    -Contributed by Dr. Gyan Fernando, Home Office accredited Consultant Forensic Pathologist for Devon & Cornwall Constabulary