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August 17, 1984

Forensic Medicine: A Guide to Principles

Author Affiliations

Albert Lea, Minn

JAMA. 1984;252(7):953-954. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350070065036

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This second edition appears eight years after the first and retains all its virtues and faults. Although it has been touched up, the changes and the additions have been moderate. No one who owns a first edition will need a new one.

As the authors say in the preface, they did "not set out to compile a forensic catalogue." This is not necessarily a defect in a book. More important is the imbalance noted in the earlier volume. Space is allotted almost entirely according to the authors' interests, and important subjects are skimmed over or neglected, especially toxicology, which they regard as a "non-subject." Yet they devote more than the usual space to arsenic poisoning. The book is not the best choice for the young student.

Experienced forensic pathologists will, on the other hand, find many interesting and important discussions. They may not always agree, but they cannot fail to