Page 1 - Forensic Science
P. 1

Learning Objectives

                 After studying this chapter you
                 should be able to:
                 ●  Explain how alcohol is
                   absorbed into the blood-
                   stream, transported through-
                   out the body, and eliminated            Harold Shipman,
                   by oxidation and excretion
                 ●  Understand the process by              Dr. Death
                   which alcohol is excreted in
                   the breath via the lungs                Kathleen Grundy’s sudden death in 1998 was shock-
                 ●  Understand the concepts of             ing news to her daughter, Angela Woodruff. Mrs.
                   infrared and fuel cell breath-          Grundy, an 81-year-old widow, was believed to be
                   testing devices for alcohol             in good health when her physician, Dr. Harold Ship-
                   testing                                 man, visited her a few hours before her demise.
                 ●  Describe commonly employed             Some hours later, when friends came to her home to
                   field sobriety tests to assess          check on her whereabouts, they found Mrs. Grundy
                   alcohol impairment
                                                           lying on a sofa fully dressed and dead.
                 ●  List and contrast laboratory               Dr. Shipman pronounced her dead and informed
                   procedures for measuring the            her daughter that an autopsy was not necessary. A
                   concentration of alcohol in
                   the blood                               few days later, Mrs. Woodruff was surprised to learn
                                                           that a will had surfaced leaving all of Mrs. Grundy’s
                 ●  Relate the precautions to be           money to Dr. Shipman. The will was immediately
                   taken to properly preserve
                   blood in order to analyze its           recognized as a forgery and led to the exhumation
                   alcohol content                         of Mrs. Grundy’s body. A toxicological analysis of the
                                                           remains revealed a lethal quantity of morphine.
                 ●  Understand the significance of
                   implied-consent laws and the                In retrospect, there was good reason to suspect
                   Schmerber v. California case            that Dr. Shipman was capable of foul play. In the
                   to traffic enforcement                  1970s, he was asked to leave a medical practice
                 ●  Describe techniques that               because of a drug abuse problem and charges
                   forensic toxicologists use              that he obtained drugs by forgery and deception.
                   to isolate and identify drugs           However, Dr. Shipman was quickly back to practic-
                   and poisons                             ing medicine. By 1998, local undertakers became

                 ●  Appreciate the significance            suspicious at the number of his patients who were
                   of finding a drug in human              dying. What is more, they all seemed to be elderly
                   tissues and organs to assessing         women who were found sitting in a chair or lying
                                                           fully clothed on a bed. As police investigated, the
                                                           horror of Dr. Shipman’s deeds became apparent.
                   National Science                        One clinical audit estimated that Dr. Shipman killed
                   Content Standards                       at least 236 of his patients over a 24-year period.
                                                           Most of the deaths were attributed to fatal doses of
                                                           heroin or morphine. Toxicological analysis on seven
                    Scientific         Science and         exhumed bodies clearly showed significant quanti-
                          Inquiry      Technology          ties of morphine. Convicted of murder, Dr. Shipman

                                                           hanged himself in his jail cell in 2004.
                                       Science in
                    Physical           Personal
                     Science           and Social

                                         History and
                     Science             Nature of

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