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Webinar – Diagnostically Difficult Forensic Cases: Logistics, Ethics, and Case Examples

The presentation considers the purposes of a forensic autopsy or case review, focusing on cases in which the original forensic pathologist medical examiner or other expert made a non-evidence-based diagnosis without scientific foundation, thereby catalyzing criminal charges or medical malpractice lawsuits. In many of these cases, simple searches of readily-available forensic literature, much of it in well-known book or journal form on most death investigators’ shelves, could have prevented the defendant’s travails. The presentation will extrapolate from these cases to touch upon commonly encountered errors, confirmation biases, the logical fallacy of _post hoc ergo proper hoc_, as well as basic medical and forensic ethical principles to which all forensic physicians and scientists should adhere and be examined upon in criminal or civil proceedings. To quote Saukko and Knight: “over-interpretation […] regrettably still leads to instances of miscarriage of justice.” 

After the presentation, the attendees will: 

  • Identify some possible “overreaches” of forensic pathology interpretation 
  • Be aware of some limitations of the autopsy gross and microscopic examination 
  • Know common errors of interpretation of toxicology by medical examiners 
  • Discuss basic competencies vis-à-vis a medical examiner’s ability to interpret observations during death investigation and autopsy 

October 12, 2022 @ 1:00 pm 3:00 pm

Presenter: Gregory J. Davis, MD, FCAP
Professor and Director, Forensic Consultation Service Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine

After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky, Greg Davis obtained the MD degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, whereupon he returned to Kentucky for a clinical internship at the University of Louisville. After Anatomic and Clinical Pathology residency at U of L, he remained in Louisville for his Forensic Pathology fellowship at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. He is certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology, and Forensic Pathology.

After postgraduate medical training, Dr Davis served as a faculty member at Wake Forest University School of Medicine (formerly Bowman Gray School of Medicine) from 1991 – 1996, where he was also county medical examiner (death investigator) for Forsyth County and a regional forensic pathologist for the State of North Carolina. In 1996, he returned to Kentucky, where he is now Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, serving, among other duties, as Director of the Division of Forensic Consultation Service s, Associate Director of the UK HealthCare Autopsy Service, Advisor to the Residency Training Program, chair of the Core Competency Committee, and pro bono autopsy and forensic consultant to the Veterans Administration Medical Center . From 199 8 – 2005, he was Associate Chief Medical Examiner of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and he now serves as pro bono consultant to the Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner. He is also Professor in the Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology of the College of Medicine, Interdisciplinary Fellow of the UK College of Law, and has served on the Forensic Test Committee of the American Board of Pathology and as Chair and Advisor to the Forensic Pathology Committee, Chair of the Technology Assessment Committee, and member of the Autopsy Committee of the College of American Pathologists, the leading organization of board -certified pathologists, serving patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine. Dr Davis has testified as an expert in forensic medicine, pathology, and toxicology in 20 states, US Federal Court, and the Republic of Singapore. He serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Forensic Sciences (the official journal of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences), the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences Journal (of which he has been a member of the Society since 1992), The Pharos, and Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology. He hosts a weekly radio spot, “Dr Greg Davis on Medicine,” on WUKY 91.3 FM University of Kentucky Public Radio/ National Public Radio.

Cost is $40 for non-members. Special Offer – Non Members can apply for membership and then this webinar will be available at no charge. Apply now (cost $30), then log in to your new account for the free webinar.

FREE for members (members must log into their account to register at no cost).



Our Address

Canadian Society of Forensic Science
P.O. Box 39023, 1582 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) K1H 1A1

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csfs @ bellnet.ca
Tel: +1 (613) 762-9237


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