Knowledge and Attitude of Medical Students Towards Medico Legal Autopsy- A Questionnaire Based Study
Keywords:Medico Legal autopsy, Knowledge, Attitude, Medical Students
Introduction: Autopsy is a research tool which has been used for centuries. Autopsy is a scientific study
of a dead body and is categorized into clinical and medico-legal autopsies. A Medicolegal autopsy or postmortem examination is a scientific examination of dead body carried out under the law of the state mainly to
assist the identification and prosecution of the guilty in cases of unnatural deaths. This study is done to assess
the knowledge, Perception and Attitude of medical students towards medico legal autopsy.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based study was conducted among the students of Saveetha
medical college, questionnaires related to autopsy were distributed and students were asked to fill them.
According to the data obtained was analyzed to know the Knowledge and Attitude of Medical Students
Towards Medico Legal Autopsy
Results: Majority of the students (92.3%) thought that autopsy is necessary for all unnatural deaths. 84.6%
said that inquest report, requisition letter is needed for autopsies. 80.8% knew autopsy is done to know the
cause of death and reach the culprit of the crime and was a legal formality in unnatural deaths. 96.2% of
students have not felt performing autopsy is disrespectful to the body. 94.2% of participants had a opinion
that the autopsies they witnessed were not enough. 96.9% agreed that autopsy is necessary in medical
education. Almost half (49.9%) of the students felt uncomfortable while witnessing autopsy, 29.6% were
Comfortable and 20.5% of students have not witnessed autopsy yet. Only 67.3% were comfortable with
live autopsies, rest 32.7% preferred virtual autopsy. 96.2% knew that preserving viscera is necessary
during autopsy on suspected case of poisoning. Majority of students (98.1%) felt that medical students
should actively participate in autopsies. Most of them (98.1%) knew that both external and internal
examinations are done in autopsies and 98.5% felt that ED posting specifically for Forensic Medicine for
trauma, poisoning and other medico-legal cases is necessary during CRRI.
Conclusion: Overall this study shows that students have some knowledge of autopsies but think that the
autopsies that they have witnessed were not enough and encourages that medical students should witness
and actively participate in more autopsies. We also suggest to revise the Forensic Medicine curriculum by
increasing the number of teaching and practical hours thereby the students will be able to make observations
and come to conclusions in criminal matters or Medico-legal cases.
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