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Kazakhstan wants to introduce virtual autopsy


In Kazakhstan they want to introduce the so-called virtual autopsy. The traditional procedure can be replaced by 3D computer scanning. This, according to the authorities, will help avoid conflicts between doctors and relatives of the deceased.  

Vice Minister of Justice Daniel Vaisov announced this at a reception of citizens. The details were voiced by Deputy Director of the Center for Forensic Expertise of the Ministry of Justice Nazgul Imanbaeva. 

“This is a non-invasive method of examining the body, there is no need to perform an autopsy. This method is currently not widely used. It is used in the study of corpses of people who died not a violent death, but from diseases, for example. Our specialists went to the UK Forensic Science Center. There, only one of the cities uses this method. They do it on a paid basis, that is, it is not yet widely used. The Ministry of Justice is studying this issue. (…) This method will be very useful, given that in Kazakhstan there are such religious beliefs that conflicts with relatives constantly arise when an autopsy is required,” Imanbaeva said.

According to her, this method is only being studied in Kazakhstan and is not yet regulated in any way. And there is no money in the budget of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the introduction of such technology. So these plans are not intended for the near future. 

Member of the Astana Public Council Dauletkhan Yesimov, former head of the capital’s health department, chairman of the committee for monitoring medical and pharmaceutical activities of the Ministry of Health, advocates the introduction of such an option in Kazakhstan. He recalled the recent case of brutal beating of doctors in Talgar.

“As a doctor, I know that we have mostly Kazakhs, Muslims, who don’t want the corpses of their relatives to be opened, they want to take them away. And on this occasion in Talgar. According to the conversations of these doctors, I am just dealing with their affairs; the relatives wanted to take away my father’s corpse without an autopsy. And there is a certain procedure: in order to open a corpse, you must obtain permission. And even more so if the person was of working age, it is necessary to determine why he died. If it’s a sudden death, incomprehensible, like in Talgar, then you need to decide, open it up and see what he died from. He lay at home for two days, most likely having a heart attack. And he lay at home with a heart attack for two days and died on the third day,” Yesimov said. 

According to him, a virtual autopsy will help minimize the risks of conflict situations on this basis. The specialist noted that this approach is practiced in developed countries.