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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1989 Mar;10(1):37-41.

Stomach contents and the time of death. Reexamination of a persistent question.

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Forensic Pathology Branch, Department of the Solicitor General, Province of Ontario, Toronto, Canada.


The inspection of the contents of the stomach must be part of every postmortem examination because it may provide qualitative information concerning the nature of the last meal and the presence of abnormal constituents. Using it as a guide to the time of death, however, is theoretically unsound and presents many practical difficulties, although it may have limited applicability in some exceptional instances. Generally, using stomach contents as a guide to time of death involves an unacceptable degree of imprecision and is thus liable to mislead the investigator and the court.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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