Korean J Leg Med.  2006 Oct;30(2):135-139.

A Case of Natural Death Misinterpreted as Electrocution

  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine, National Institute of Scientific Investigation, Korea. ykmoo@freechal.com
  • 2Department of Forensic Science, National Institute of Scientific Investigation, Korea.
  • 3Department of Forensic Medicine, Catholic University Medical School, Korea.


When the circumstance of a death seems to be related with electric shock, most of the forensic pathologists tend to diagnose the cause of death as electrocution if they see the electric mark(s) with the notincompatible histology, and find no other definite causes of death at autopsy. But admittedly forensic pathologists know that the so-called electric mark(s) and its histology is not pathognomonic to diagnose electrocution, so the diagnosis should be confirmed by the appropriate investigation of the death scene and the electric devices. We present a case of a man who had a likely current mark that could be diagnosed as natural by ruling out the possibility of electrocution with the examination of the electric lamp which had been under the dead body at the scene. This case gives us the importance of appropriate probe about scene evidences supplied by forensic science in diagnosing and ruling out the electrocution.


natural death; electrocution; electric mark; forensic science

MeSH Terms

Cause of Death
Forensic Sciences
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