Anatomical Position of the Human Body

For lawyers grappling with forensic medicine, we start a new series of graphics taken from Mason's Forensic Medicine for Lawyers, Sixth Edition.

The medical expert will describe the relative position of an injury or lesion in relation to the human body in the 'anatomical position' that is, the body standing erect, with the palms of the hands facing forward (see below). The front part of the body is the anterior aspect, and the rear part of the body is the posterior aspect. The inner part of the body is the medial aspect, and the outer part of the body is the lateral aspect.

The body can be divided into various planes separating (broadly) the body into two equal divisions. The sagittal plane is a vertical division along the midline of the body separating the left and the right halves. The coronal plane is a vertical division separating the anterior and posterior aspects of the body through the side of the body. The transverse plane is a horizontal division separating the top and bottom of the body, broadly, through the mid part of the chest.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Anatomical positions - graphic-page-001 (1)

9781780434766Mason's Forensic Medicine for Lawyers, Sixth Edition is written by Helen Whitwell, Katy Thorne, Alexander Kolar and Paul Harvey.

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