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The Korean Journal of Pathology 2004;38(3): 165-173.
Medical Students' Attitudes Toward Autopsy and the Effect of Their Attitudes Following a Forensic Pathology Course.
Yoon Young Yang, Hee Kyung Park, Cheong Yi Park, Won Kee Lee, Sang Han Lee, Jung Sik Kwak, Jong Min Chae
1Department of Forensic Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. dentopark@empal.com
2Section of Forensic Dentistry, Department of Forensic Medicine, National Institute of Scientific Investigation, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Communication and Information, Inha University, Incheon, Korea.
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND: The autopsy is a special surgical operation on a dead body to discover its cause of death. The autopsy is necessary for forensic uses, and it is also of great importance for educating students regarding medical uncertainty. METHODS: To evaluate medical studentsO attitudes toward autopsy and the effect of their attitudes following a forensic pathology course, a questionnaire with 25 items that addressed the usefulness of autopsies and discomfort reactions was used. One hundred eighty nine medical students from 3 medical schools in Daegu participated in this study. RESULTS: The medical students showed a high perception of an autopsy's principles, but the medical students were reluctant to become personally involved, despite being more aware of the necessities of the autopsy in forensic cases. Acceptance for the necessities of the autopsy for medical students who took the forensic pathology course was increased, but most of discomfort reactions were not improved. CONCLUSIONS: One way to fulfill the role of forensic pathology as an inspector for human rights and to retain the very special source of knowledge that autopsies represent would be to provide medical education that lead to reconciliation of the discomfort feelings.
Key Words: Autopsy; Forensic Medicine; Medical Education; Human Rights
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