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Revista Habanera de Ciencias Médicas

On-line version ISSN 1729-519X


CABRERA HERNANDEZ, Cristina  and  VAZQUEZ ORTIZ, Marta. Death of a product of conception. Illegal abortion or murder?. Rev haban cienc méd [online]. 2018, vol.17, n.4, pp.641-647. ISSN 1729-519X.


When the death of a product of conception occurs, important aspects resulting from the completion of the medico-legal necropsy that define the behaviors to be followed with those presumed responsible for a crime must be specified. To achieve this, it is necessary to establish whether extrauterine life existed or not, which will give the definition of "person" to the mentioned product, as it is established in the civil legislation.


To establish the possible type of crime and consider the possibility of an illegal abortion or a murder, as well as to specify the causes and circumstances in which the death occurred.

Case Presentation:

A corpse that was considered a product of conception was found in a dwelling house, wrapped up next to the placenta and the umbilical cord. The mother had kept a hidden pregnancy. During the act of performing a necropsy, it was demonstrated that it was a viable product that had had extrauterine life.


A rare and unusual case is presented in forensic practice. It was determined that she was a newborn baby girl because she had had extrauterine life, whose causes of death were related to a traumatic brain injury.

Keywords : Autopsy; fetus; cause of death; homicide; infanticide; criminal abortion.

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