Thursday, October 22, 2009

Too Late to Exhume Reputations of Local Pathologists

Respected pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, director-general of Thailand’s Ministry of Justices Central Institute of Forensic Science, provided medical confirmation to what seems to be in the arena of common sense to many Malaysians: that Teoh Beng Hock's death was most likely murder.

And all she had to work with were pictures reports of our local pathologists, which was enough to put a nail in the coffin of their professional reputations. The Star's report mentioned that "She added that there was a need to cut open the skin to check for internal bleeding to determine whether Teoh had been tortured. (Both the pathologists who had conducted the postmortem on Teoh had not done so.)"

The Malaysian Insider report included a further contradiction:

"She rejected the idea that the anus was penetrated by a bone fragment, which had been put forward by local pathologist, Dr Khairul Aznam Ibrahim from the Hospital Tengku Rahimah Ampuan in Klang. She reasoned that if that had happened, the force would have punctured the area opposite its entry and not as what was shown in the autopsy photos taken."

The two local pathologists - Dr Khairul and Dr Prashant Samberkar of the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre - failed likewise on the level of medicine and common sense. Medically by coming to conclusions without any reasonable basis and having an incomplete autopsy, and not having the common sense to know that it would be only a matter of time before a real expert would be well able to point out the inaccuracies.

With the possibility of a second post-mortem in the air, they may be in for a second round of shame. The credibility of these pathologists, who seemed too eager to take away any possibility of MACC responsibility, seemed to smell from the start. It seems that even now, their reputations will be far too late to exhume.

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