American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Re-examination of JFK Assassination Medical Data Reviews Single Shooter Versus Conspiracy Theories
50th Anniversary Report in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Includes Interview with Kennedy’s Physician

Arlington Heights, Ill. - Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the medical and scientific evidence may support the possibility of the "single shooter, three bullet theory" of the event. Yet new insights into the old medical data simultaneously suggest there may have been multiple shooters, according to a special article by Dr. Rod J. Rohrich, Editor-in-Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Dr. Rohrich and coauthors revisit the medical data on President Kennedy's shooting and death-an event that continues to generate debate and skepticism to this day. Dr. Rohrich is Professor and Chairman of plastic surgery at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

The authors present a narrative of the events from that fateful November day, focusing on the medical steps taken to resuscitate President Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the president was declared dead 17 minutes after arrival at the hospital.

Controversy and conspiracy theories flared up almost immediately-from the debate over performing the autopsy to the conflicting results of government panel reports in subsequent years. Dr. Rohrich and colleagues write, "Much of this controversy was driven by incomplete information, poor documentation and analysis, and the puzzling decision to withhold key medical evidence from both from investigators and the public."

Based on his team's review, Dr. Rohrich says, "A lot of the presented historical evidence shows that the single-shooter, three-bullet theory is plausible." However, in the face of divergent and contradicting evidence, the authors do not unequivocally support the single-shooter theory.

The competing evidence includes an exclusive video interview conducted with Dr. Robert McClelland-one of the last surviving members of the team of physicians who worked on President Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital. He believes more than one shooter was involved. "I could actually look down within the skull cavity and see that the whole right back half of [Kennedy's] right cerebral hemisphere was gone," Dr. McClelland told Dr. Rohrich. "Not one shot caused all of these things."

Researchers point to three key areas affecting the multiple theories: size and location of the wounds, trajectory of the bullets and the lack of photographs and X-rays.

While researchers cannot point to one definitive theory, the medical data, and recent interview with Dr. McClelland are revealing. "Unfortunately, the controversy was not diminished by the divergent conclusions of the multiple commissions and panels that convened to investigate it," Dr. Rohrich says.

As a special feature, visitors to the Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery website can view the full interview with Dr. McClelland at

Accompanying this research is a three-part article that highlights the major advances in trauma management and reconstructive plastic surgery since 1963. The article also includes insights into contemporary measures of triage in mass casualty events such as the Boston Marathon bombing. Both articles and the exclusive video can be viewed in their entirety at

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

About Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

For over 75 years, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® has been the one consistently excellent reference for every specialist who uses plastic surgery techniques or works in conjunction with a plastic surgeon. The official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® brings subscribers up-to-the-minute reports on the latest techniques and follow-up for all areas of plastic and reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction, experimental studies, maxillofacial reconstruction, hand and microsurgery, burn repair and cosmetic surgery, as well as news on medico-legal issues.

About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 11,000 physician members worldwide, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 92 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (EURONEXT: WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions and services for the healthcare, tax and accounting, financial and corporate compliance, legal and regulatory and corporate performance and ESG sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2022 annual revenues of €5.5 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

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