submitted Nov. 11th 2019, accepted Dec. 20th 2019.

Daniel Turl Braga (1)

Currículo Lattes: – ORCID id:

Cristina Espindola Sedlmaier (1)

Currículo Lattes: – ORCID id:

Daniel Pinheiro Hernandez (2)

Currículo Lattes: – ORCID id:


(1) Discente do curso de Medicina do Centro Universitário Serra dos Órgãos (UNIFESO) – Teresópolis, RJ.

(2) Orientador. Professor do Curso de Medicina e coordenador do Grupo de História da Medicina (GHM) do Centro Universitário Serra dos Órgãos (UNIFESO) – Teresópolis, RJ.

Email para correspondência:




Legal Medicine and it’s teaching at Brasil constitute a peculiar chapter in Medical History. Didactically divided in: First fase (or Foreign fase) until 1877; Second fase (or Transitional fase), period in which Doctor Agostinho José de Souza Lima (1842-1921) made his contributions; and the Third fase (Nationalization fase) when Raimundo Nina Rodrigues was prominent. The Second fase represented the first step towards the “nationalization” of Forensic Medicine, when doctor Agostinho José de Souza Lima played a fundamental role. Objective: To understand the role of Doctor Agostinho José de Souza Lima on the constitution of Brazilian Legal Medicine. Method: bibliographical review of books and articles about the theme. Discussion: in 1832, with the reform of higher education in Brazil, the chair of Forensic Medicine was established in medical universities. However, it was not until 1881, with Souza Lima, that the practical teaching of forensic thanatology began in the Court’s morgue. This period was marked by intense ethical discussions about the practical teaching of medical expertise and confidentiality. Souza Lima had a prominent role in the teaching of Legal Medicine, its practical teaching, laboratory development, scientific publications, comments on Brazilian civil and criminal laws and the study of toxicology. Conclusion: Souza Lima’s actions enabled the structuring of forensic medicine as a discipline within Brazilian medical colleges, becoming a reference for Legal Medicine in Brazil. His great achievements translate into encouragement to the youngest, students and Brazilian doctors.

Keywords: forensic medicine, thanatology, history of medicine.