(Received 5 July 1977; accepted 1 August 1977)
Published Online: April
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A problem faced by police, medical examiners, and prosecutors is the course of action to be pursued when a criminal act results in emotionally precipitated death in the absence of physical injury or contact. The determination of proximate causation may be difficult if there is no autopsy evidence of life-threatening physical trauma nor any historical evidence of physical contact between the victim and the assailant. The usual circumstance is a robbery or burglary during which, or shortly after, a victim collapses. The victim is usually found to be suffering from severe coronary atherosclerosis and its complications.
Dade County medical examiner and professor of pathology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Coral Gables, Fla.
Stock #: JFS10773J