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  • #16
    Thank you very much, Cris.
    Your detailed answer is exactly the clarification I was looking for.

    I am relieved that three of the most knowledgeable people on these forums agree that there was a post mortem or autopsy on Saturday morning the 10th and not just the examination at Miller's Court on Friday the 9th because someone is PM'ing me several times a day to refute this after I told him it was the case.

    Thank goodness that newbies (and oldies who've misplaced their sourcebook ) have such a great place to come to get the facts.

    Thank you for the responses everyone.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Wicker Man View Post
      I took that date as a cover sheet for filing purposes, not part of Bond's report.
      There was no need for Bond to write such a complete source for his report to Anderson, this would be done at the point of filing for future reference.
      Dr. Bond's report dated Nov. 10th was eventually filed on Nov. 16th, that's how I read it.
      I thought incoming documents were normally just stamped with the date received. Bond's "profile" report and the accompanying correspondence are stamped (by the Home Office) 14 November.

      Originally posted by Wicker Man View Post
      Dr. Bond's summary of the series of murders (pgs 360-2, Ultimate), is dated Nov. 10th.
      Reference is made within this summary to an "annexed report", ie; Dr. Bond's Post-mortem (pgs 345-7, Ultimate), therefore they are both of the same date, I assume?
      That was how it appeared to me, if the post-mortem report is the one referred to as "annexed". I wonder if it's possible that 16 November is a mistranscription of 10 November?

      Comment


      • #18
        I hope this link works, if so, anyone interested can perform a contents search for "autopsies" or "autopsy" , due to the term being in common use in the period, and the distinction between Autopsy and the more general Post-mortem is evident.

        http://www.archive.org/stream/postmo...ge/n8/mode/2up
        Regards, Jon S.
        "
        The theory that the murderer is a lunatic is dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients......."If he's insane
        " observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not".
        Reynolds Newspaper, 4 Nov. 1888.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Wicker Man View Post
          I hope this link works, if so, anyone interested can perform a contents search for "autopsies" or "autopsy" , due to the term being in common use in the period, and the distinction between Autopsy and the more general Post-mortem is evident.

          http://www.archive.org/stream/postmo...ge/n8/mode/2up
          But that book is described as an American edition, and it was published in Philadelphia.

          Comment


          • #20
            The fifth edition of The Coroners Act, 1887, published in 1888, may be more pertinent. The term post-mortem examination is used.

            https://archive.org/stream/coronersa...ge/n5/mode/2up

            Comment


            • #21
              I was occupied for a time last year in looking at the Post Mortem Register of Greenwich Union Infirmary 1894 to 1919. One thing I noticed was that they were still following the convention of just looking at a specific organs at post mortem, the organs that were related to the disease that a patient was admitted to the Infirmary for.
              I had wondered if an autopsy represented a more thorough investigation, perhaps including detailed chemical analysis of certain organs but as far as modern day definitions go, the NHS don't seem to make a distinction between an autopsy or a post mortem

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by CGP View Post
                I thought incoming documents were normally just stamped with the date received. Bond's "profile" report and the accompanying correspondence are stamped (by the Home Office) 14 November.
                Due to Nov. 16th being obviously later than the received date of Nov. 14th, then for the "annexed" report to be part of the same package, I also assumed the date we read as 16th (as you remarked below) must be a mistranscription for 10th.

                That was how it appeared to me, if the post-mortem report is the one referred to as "annexed". I wonder if it's possible that 16 November is a mistranscription of 10 November?
                Sorry for the late reply Chris, had to go to a meeting.....
                Regards, Jon S.
                "
                The theory that the murderer is a lunatic is dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients......."If he's insane
                " observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not".
                Reynolds Newspaper, 4 Nov. 1888.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by CGP View Post
                  But that book is described as an American edition, and it was published in Philadelphia.
                  I understand that Chris, but the book uses both Post-mortem and Autopsy, but under distinctly different circumstances. Which indicates the term "Autopsy" was not changed from the original German.

                  As post-mortem simply means "after death", any after death examination qualifies as a post-mortem, but not all post-mortems are an Autopsy.



                  Difference Between Autopsy And Postmortem

                  Commonly autopsy and postmortem are considered as synonyms.Postmortem is the contraction of postmortem examination so as the autopsy which is the examination done after death.But as a medical man one must know the difference between the two.
                  Autopsy is a word of Greek origin,meaning "seeing with one's own eyes".While the postmortem is Latin word meaning "after death".
                  So anything done after death will be considered as an postmortem act..Like wrapping the corps,removing ventilators,sealing off any incision etc.
                  Autopsy on the other hand is defined as a legal procedure in which scientific examination of a dead body is carried out under the laws of state in order to discover the cause of the death or the extent of disease.

                  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...05728612808863
                  Not to suggest the above link is authoritative, just one of dozens of explanations all making the same distinction.

                  And, the "legal procedure", in the case of Mary Kelly was conducted by Dr. Phillips, but a general examination (post-mortem) was conducted by Dr. Bond, and perhaps any or all of his peers on Friday afternoon, but specifically for this discussion Dr. Bond.
                  Regards, Jon S.
                  "
                  The theory that the murderer is a lunatic is dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients......."If he's insane
                  " observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not".
                  Reynolds Newspaper, 4 Nov. 1888.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    The Mortuary Question ( Morning Post, September 29, 1888 )

                    http://www.jtrforums.com/showthread....601#post287601
                    To Join JTR Forums :
                    Contact [email protected]

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                    • #25
                      Jon

                      I think this is just a case where English English and American English had and still have different usages. I can see that the distinction between different types of examination is useful, but in England they're all called "post-mortem examinations", not autopsies.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by CGP View Post
                        Jon

                        I think this is just a case where English English and American English had and still have different usages. I can see that the distinction between different types of examination is useful, but in England they're all called "post-mortem examinations", not autopsies.
                        Originally posted by CGP View Post
                        Jon

                        I think this is just a case where English English and American English had and still have different usages. I can see that the distinction between different types of examination is useful, but in England they're all called "post-mortem examinations", not autopsies.
                        Chris.

                        I wonder if you recall a couple of articles in Ripperologist, No.71, 2006.

                        This two part analysis might be of interest.

                        The literal meaning of autopsy is ‘self-seen’ or ‘seeing with one’s own eyes’ and the word appears with that definition in the first edition of Samuel Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary of the English Language.2 In another sense, autopsy could even be taken to mean self-examination after death! But the word has since progressed beyond the literal interpretation to establish its own definition and we all know that it means the dissection and examination of a corpse to establish the cause of death, although at best it should only really apply to human corpses and not to those of animals.
                        A Post-mortem literally means ‘after death’ and is taken to mean the same as autopsy, but today it is rather too broad a term. There are many aspects to an ‘after death’ examination that do not just refer to the examination and investigation of the corpse.
                        See:
                        http://www.casebook.org/dissertation...n-autopsy.html
                        http://www.casebook.org/dissertation...opsy-2.htmlThe distinction is expressed below, quoted from the first link:
                        There are several important points to be observed when making a medico-legal necropsy over and above the requirements of ordinary pathological investigations.

                        Medico-legal necropsy (autopsy)
                        Ordinary pathological investigation (Post-mortem)
                        Regards, Jon S.
                        "
                        The theory that the murderer is a lunatic is dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients......."If he's insane
                        " observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not".
                        Reynolds Newspaper, 4 Nov. 1888.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Jon

                          As I said, I can see why people think this may be a useful distinction to draw in discussion, but if we are considering historical usage, then the usage in England has been that the official examination of the body was a "post-mortem examination". Gary has posted links to the relevant acts of parliament which make that clear.

                          Whatever terms we use in our discussions, I think it's important to keep the historical usage clearly in mind. For example, getting back on-topic, after the first section describing the position of the body, the second section of Bond's report on Kelly's body is introduced with the words "Postmortem Examination". That describes the opening of the thorax and the examination of the internal organs, so I take it that it refers to the official examination on the Saturday (i.e the autopsy in American usage).

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            All a bit too pedantic, methinks. How about a compromise? Stiffology maybe.
                            Be nice to one another!
                            Merv

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by CGP View Post
                              Jon

                              As I said, I can see why people think this may be a useful distinction to draw in discussion, but if we are considering historical usage, then the usage in England has been that the official examination of the body was a "post-mortem examination". Gary has posted links to the relevant acts of parliament which make that clear.

                              Whatever terms we use in our discussions, I think it's important to keep the historical usage clearly in mind. For example, getting back on-topic, after the first section describing the position of the body, the second section of Bond's report on Kelly's body is introduced with the words "Postmortem Examination". That describes the opening of the thorax and the examination of the internal organs, so I take it that it refers to the official examination on the Saturday (i.e the autopsy in American usage).
                              Yes Chris, British terminology is Post-mortem, I am not disputing that.
                              What I have been demonstrating, by both Virchow & Magellan is that both sources adopt the general terminology of Post-mortem, but very selectively use Autopsy, when the circumstances require an acknowledgement of a difference in importance.

                              A distinction does exist, as you admitted yourself. Yet the British system makes no allowance for it. Hence, my suggestion to Debs, that I found it beneficial to use Autopsy when discussing the state directed Post-mortem, as opposed to a physician directed post-mortem.

                              In this particular case, the post-mortem conducted on Friday in Millers Court was not bound by any requirements beyond the expertice of the parties involved, and therefore carried no legal weight.

                              The post-mortem conducted Saturday morning was authorized by the Coroner, and would be far more exhaustive and the results of which carried considerably legal weight.
                              It is a deficiency of the British system that there is no accepted terminology to help differentiate between these two very different types of examination.
                              That is really what I was getting at, my suggestion was an attempt to address that deficiency in Ripper discussions.
                              The notes attributed to Dr. Bond have been taken by some as the 'official' post-mortem conclusion, which is not the case.
                              Regards, Jon S.
                              "
                              The theory that the murderer is a lunatic is dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients......."If he's insane
                              " observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not".
                              Reynolds Newspaper, 4 Nov. 1888.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Someone mentioned pedantry and I think that may be the issue here. Of course any examination, even the most perfunctory, of a dead body is 'post mortem'. But the British usage 'a post mortem' or 'the post mortem' has the same meaning as autopsy in American English. It refers to an officially-sanctioned examination of a dead body.

                                It's a potato/potarto thing.

                                Is there such a thing as a physician-directed post-mortem in the sense of a thorough and invasive examination of a dead body without a coroner's authority?

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