During the launch of the new Digital Autopsy Facility at the Medico-Legal Centre in Sheffield today, the Chief Coroner of England and Wales His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC welcomed the new technology in his remarks.
“It goes without saying that bereaved families must always been put at the heart of the coroner service. For many of them the autopsy, the so-called invasive post-mortem examination by a pathologist, brings additional stress at a difficult time."
“CT imaging – computed tomography imaging – provides a different way of ascertaining the cause of death. Sometimes an autopsy may be necessary. But where a scan can, properly and in the right case, be used as a viable alternative to an autopsy, the preservation of the body intact is often greatly valued by the family."
“As science and technology develop, digital scanning is undoubtedly one of the ways forward for the coroner service."
“I therefore welcome the development of digital scanning equipment and its use here in Sheffield as an aid to finding out causes of death.”