If only the world of television was closer to reality or even on the horizon of probability, examinations for evidence and especially the cause of death would be so much easier. Take for example, the autopsy. This is a grueling, back-breaking process calling for much determination, the correct tools, and years of knowledge. Breaking skin with cutting tools, using saws to split through cartilage and bone is a difficult, highly specialized and tedious task. If it could only be done in a high-tech manner such as what we see on television shows such as Bones and CSI—with detailed scans and video images of what lay inside—so, can it?
Virtopsy Up for Opinion
According to an article for Newswise from Johns Hopkins Hospital, high-tech “Virtopsies” are not total reality and the more traditional physical examination of autopsy is ‘still the gold standard for determining cause of death’ experts claim. “The latest virtual imaging technologies–including full-body computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, X-ray and angiography are helpful, they say, but cannot yet replace a direct physical inspection of the body’s main organs.”
"Medical problems most commonly missed or not seen by autopsy included air pockets in collapsed lungs (which could have impeded breathing) and bone fractures, and the most common diagnoses missed by imaging were heart attack, pulmonary emboli and cancer,” says Burton. She believes that imaging results can also create question because most tissue examples need to be physically examined for analysis. Costs may also be prohibitive as imaging equipment costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and full-body CT scans for example can run about $1,500 each, which, when added to device purchasing and maintenance fees, make vitropsy an awfully expensive option.
For some interesting real life cases on autopsy and the subsequent evidence, visit: