condition." Brackett, 117 Ill. 2d at 178. The defendant's
murder conviction was affirmed.
In Brown, on the other hand, the defendant's murder
conviction was reversed where the medical evidence failed to
establish the defendant's stabbing caused the victim's death. In
that case, the victim was hospitalized shortly after the
stabbing. She was released a week later. Three days after her
release, she was readmitted to the hospital after a wound opened.
That night, she died. At trial, her treating physician testified
the cause of death was a pulmonary embolism--the lodging of a
blood clot in the main artery of her lung. Because the victim
did not suffer other risk factors associated with blood clots,
the doctor concluded the clot originated from the victim's stab
wound site and traveled to her lung, causing her death.
The reviewing court held the State failed to prove the
"essential causative relationship between" the defendant's act
and the victim's death. Brown, 57 Ill. App. 3d at 532. The
court reasoned there was no factual support for the doctor's
opinion that the blood clot originated at the wound site, such as
evidence from an autopsy, a relationship between the victim's
death and the defendant's acts, or "explanations of the reasons
underlying the cause of death." Brown, 57 Ill. App. 3d at 533.
Without such facts, the relationship between the defendant's
actions and the victim's death was purely speculative. Brown, 57
Ill. App. 3d at 532.
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