Contact us to inquire about access.




Talk with students about feelings — how they feel about seeing an actual dead person.
Discuss that each of these people donated their body for education. The families would like them to learn from their loved one.
There is a “Family appreciation wall” where students can post thoughts or a thank you to the family at the end of the activity.
Sometime we actually share the thoughts with these families.
Complete the Autopsy Permission Slip.
Back to top



Start with observation skills.
For each example, have students draw what they observe about the photograph or video.
Educator note: You may wish to pause the video at certain points to allow for observation.

How many items are attached to the body?
Which items pass into the body?
Where do you think they go?
Why would they be there?
What is the condition of the skin like near each tube?
Do you see a possible cause of death yet?
Why do you think there are towels on the body?
Did this patient have a surgery?
Educator Content.

What could make the abdomen so large?
Do you think the person is fat?
What color is the fluid (later in video)?
Is that normal?
What observations can you make about the intestine?
Educator Content.

What do you think happened this patient?
Gun shot wounds, stab wounds, cirrhosis, or gallbladder surgery, something else?
Base your answer on your observations.
Educator Content.

There’s no ruler in the picture. How big do you think the hole is?
A quarter inch, inch, 4 inches, 10 inches?
Is the hole all one depth or different depths?
Where in the body are we?
Is this trauma, decomposition, postmortem insect bite, or some other condition?
Back up your conclusion with evidence.
Educator Content.

Back to top



Decomposition and Livor Mortis

What main decomposition findings are there?
Is there livor mortis?
What position was the patient found?
Is there blanching? Why does that happen?
Educator Content.

What main decomposition findings are there?
Is there livor mortis?
What position was the patient found?
What internal signs of decomposition are there so far?
Educator Content.

What signs of decomposition are there?
Educator Content.

What signs of decomposition are there?
What’s making the testes so big?
Why do you think the testes affected more than the rest of the body?
Now that you’ve seen all four cases, put them in order from least to most decomposed? Explain why?
Educator Content.

Back to top




What trauma is found in each case?
What caused the trauma? What other types of events could cause similar-looking trauma?
Educator Content.
Back to top




Case 1. 53 Year old man with chronic
pain from work injury.

View toxicology
Break up students into groups and assign each a portion of the results.
Make sure each student can tell if their sample came from blood, eye fluid (vitreous), or urine.
Have each student look up their set of drugs.
Make a chart.
Name of drug – What does it do? – Can you overdose? – What is “normal” or therapeutic level – What is an overdose level? – What was the patient’s level.
Have groups make a case for why a drug was or was not a cause of death.
Educator Content.
Back to top



View a case

View the video.
Why did the patient die?
What’s your evidence?
Educator Content.
Back to top



Student Sharing

Write a Thank You to the families or share your thoughts on the
Family Appreciation Wall.
Back to top