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June 14, 1913

Evidences of Arsenical Poisoning

JAMA. 1913;60(24):1901. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340240061028

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Abstract

To the Editor:  —In an editorial on this subject in The Journal, May 31, 1913, p. 1710, it is stated that "by no ordinary measures, such as those to which criminals would be likely to resort, could arsenic be introduced into the body after death and be carried by the ordinary processes of diffusion to a point [the brain] so remote from the central portions of the body."This is so at variance with established facts that I wish to direct your attention to the matter in the interest of medical jurisprudence.It is true, as the editorial points out, that formerly the belief was entertained that if arsenic is found in the brain of a cadaver, the poison must have been introduced into the body before death. During the past thirty years, however, many experiments on the dead bodies of man and of the lower animals have abundantly established

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