Kidney specialists float a new theory after revisiting Bruce Lee’s cause of death
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New York, NY (CNN) — The theories of medical examiners have never been subjected to such scrutiny.
A day before the autopsy of late American martial arts star and philanthropist Bruce Lee was completed, an independent pathologist — whose work has never been in question — publicly called into question the official cause of death on the eve of the autopsy’s conclusion.
Dr Allan Pacey’s conclusions were submitted to the coroner’s office on Wednesday, hours before the conclusion of the autopsy of Lee. He used a new technique he calls “bio-filtration” to examine the levels of five biochemical elements in the man’s liver and tissue.
During the autopsy, the pathologist found that levels of copper and zinc in Lee’s liver were abnormally high. The elements are major components in many drugs used in medical treatments, such as insulin and anti-cancer medication.
Those are not the first findings that have raised questions about the cause of death. Earlier this year, another doctor at the University of Miami, a pathologist who is not associated with the autopsy, told CNN that the cause of death could be a mystery.
Bruce Lee, who co-founded his own record label, died last month following a stroke. He was 77 and lived in New York.
Dr Pacey’s analysis, which appears in the British medical journal The Lancet, used the new technique that can determine the level of elements in biological samples by using a special filter to remove molecules that are too small to detect by any current test.
“There is no more important problem when you are reviewing death investigations than to have accurate results,” he told CNN. “You don’t want to miss any cause of death.”
The pathologist did not say the new technique would provide a definitive conclusion on the cause of death, but said he was convinced of having found a new theory.
Medical examiners usually look for one cause of death, such as cancer, an infection or an accident.