Start Date: 2/15/2021 3:00 PM EST
End Date: 6/30/2021 11:45 PM EDT
Venue Name: Via Zoom
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Diagnostically Difficult Forensic Cases: Logistics, Ethics, and Case Examples
1.5 Total CLE Hrs
Presenter: Gregory Davis, Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Professor of Toxicology & Cancer Biology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Former Associate Chief Medical Examiner, Commonwealth of Kentucky
Moderator: David Ward
The presentation will consider 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 MEs 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 propter hoc, as well as basic medical and forensic ethical principles to which all forensic 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 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
Gregory J. Davis, MD, FCAP
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 rotating/psychiatry internship at the University of Louisville. After Anatomic and Clinical Pathology residency at U of L, he remained in Louisville for his forensic 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 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 (“fur-SYTH”) 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 as Advisor to the Residency Training Program, Associate Director of the Hospital Autopsy Service, Director of the Division of Forensic Consultation Services, and pro bono (without compensation) consultant to the Veterans Administration Medical Center. From 1998 – 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 as Chair and Advisor to the Forensic Pathology Committee and Chair of the Technology Assessment 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. Greg has testified as an expert in forensic medicine, pathology, and toxicology in 18 states, US Federal Court, and the Republic of Singapore. He hosts a weekly radio spot, “Dr Greg Davis on Medicine,” on WUKY 91.3 FM University of Kentucky Public Radio/NPR, https://www.wuky.org/term/dr-greg-davis-medicine#stream/0
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1.5 TECH CLE Credits pending by KBA for 2020/2021 reporting year.