Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

Virtual Autopsy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Virtopsy

Mains level : State of policing in India and desired reforms

It is likely to be possible soon to carry out autopsies without dissecting the body, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed Rajya Sabha.  India will be the first country in South and Southeast Asia to carry out these virtual autopsies.

What is a Virtual Autopsy OR Virtopsy?

  • A general autopsy is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present.
  • In a virtual autopsy, doctors use radiation to examine the innards to reach a conclusion about the cause of death.
  • A CT or an MRI machine could be used, in the same way that they are used to scan a living human’s body.

Why opt Virtopsy?

  • The traditional postmortem often makes members of the dead person’s family uncomfortable.
  • Virtopsy can be employed as an alternative to standard autopsies for broad and systemic examination of the whole body as it is less time consuming.
  • It aids better diagnosis and renders respect to religious sentiments.
  • Virtopsy is also faster than a traditional one — 30 minutes against 2½ hours.
  • India has taken up this project for “dignified management of dead body”.

When is this service likely to start?

  • The AIIMS New Delhi and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are working together on a technique for postmortem without incising/dissecting the body.
  • This technique is likely to become functional in the next six months.
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