The Woolmer tragedy revisited

Professor Lorna J. Martin – professor and head of the division of forensic medicine and toxicology, University of Cape Town, South Africa: "I had previously read the autopsy report as completed by the Jamaican pathologist Dr Sheshiah, in Cape Town. On return of Mr Woolmer's body to Cape Town, the family wanted a cremation. Part of my official duties as Chief State Pathologist is to sign the authorisation forms for cremation.
"I viewed some photographs of the scene, autopsy and a video of the autopsy.
"After viewing the photographs and video and discussing the circumstances, I gave my opinion that Mr Woolmer's death was not due to throttling, but in fact natural causes, probably cardiac related."
Interestingly, the Gleaner noted, The pathologists who reviewed the forensic evidence on the late Bob Woolmer have suggested in their reports that there were a number of shortcomings in the manner in which Government pathologist, Dr Ere Sheshiah, conducted the autopsy.

Total Embarrassment
As a region, the Caribbean has suffered tremendously from this situation. The Jamaican Government’s pathologist must now contend with the global embarrassment to his own professional credibility and one wonders whether he will be able to stay in Jamaica and continue his practice in the aftermath of this sordid incident.
So often we have been told that medicine is not a precise science but that may not be enough to take the shame out of our eyes in front of the international community.
While in retrospect the Jamaican police authorities have insisted that they always maintained an open mind the internationalising of the incident certainly did much harm to this region while the media gave it full coverage.
Of course there will be those who relish the opportunity to lay blame for much of this embarrassment on the media. Let it be known that as always the media was only reporting the truth as it came to hand.
One of the undying and perhaps unforgiving legacies of CWC 2007 will be the death of Bob Woolmer, an incident that brought us centre stage in the international arena perhaps for all the wrong reasons.