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Autopsy and Medicine
September 13, 1999

Case of the Month: History Repeats Itself (Sometimes)

Randy Hanzlick, MD; Grover M. Hutchins, MD; Autopsy Committee of the College of American Pathologists
Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(16):1837-1838. doi:10.1001/archinte.159.16.1837

A 28-YEAR-OLD man was "punished with the rope" (hanged) for criminal acts. His body was then transferred to a local physician for postmortem study, with emphasis on examination of the brain, ostensibly to search for possible reasons for the deceased's prior criminal behavior.

Specific postmortem findings are not available because the report cannot be located. However, based on the circumstances, a cause of death statement could be completed as follows: