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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VI - Page 29« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Dr. Kemp Clark Resumed)

Dr. CLARK. No, sir.

Mr. Specter.
Was it the preliminary thought that the missile might have been in the chest by virtue of the fact that this wound was noted on the neck?
Dr. CLARK. Yes; with the other factors I have enumerated.
Mr. SPECTER. And at that time, not knowing what the angle might have been or any of the surrounding circumstances, then you proceeded to take precautionary measures as if there might have been a missile in the chest at some point?
Dr. CLARK.. That is correct. Measures were taken, assuming the worst had happened.
Mr. Specter.
As the quotation appears in the issue of "L' Express," "This bullet penetrated into his chest and did not come out," would that then be an accurate quotation of something that you said, Dr. Clark?
Dr. CLARK. No, sir.
Mr. Specter.
Dr. Clark, while you are here again, I would like to ask you a few additional questions.
Let the record show that since I have taken your deposition, I have taken the depositions of many additional witnesses and none has been transcribed, so I am not in a position to refer to a record to see what I asked you before or to frankly recollect precisely what I asked you before, so, to some extent these questions may be overlapping. Did you observe the President's back at that time when he was in the emergency room?
Dr. CLARK. No, sir.
Mr. Specter.
What was the reason for your not looking at his back?
Dr. CLARK. First, the duration of time that the President was alive in the emergency room was a brief duration. All efforts were bent toward saving his life rather than inspection for precise location of wounds. After his death it was not our position to try to evaluate all of the conceivable organs or areas of the body, knowing that an autopsy would be performed and that this would be far more meaningful than a cursory external examination here.
Mr. Specter.
Was there any bleeding wound in the President's back?
Dr. CLARK. In the back of his head.
Mr. Specter.
But how about on the back of his body, was there any bleeding wound noted?
Dr. CLARK. Since we did not turn the President over, I cannot answer that specifically. We saw none, as I previously stated.
Mr. Specter.
Did you undertake any action to ascertain whether there had been a violation to a major extent of the back part of his body ?
Dr. CLARK. No, sir.
Mr. Specter.
That is, none was taken by you personally ?
Dr. CLARK. That's correct.
Mr. Specter.
Dr. Carrico testified earlier today, being the first doctor to reach him, that he felt the President's back to determine whether there was any major violation of that area. Would that be a customary action to take to ascertain whether there was any major wound, by the doctor who first examined the patient?
Dr. CLARK. Yes, sir.
Mr. Specter.
Assuming that the President had a bullet wound of entry on the upper right-posterior thorax, just above the upper border of the scapula, 14 cms. from the right acromion process, 14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process, would there have been a bloody type wound ?
Dr. CLARK. I'm sorry--your question?
Mr. Specter.
Would such a wound of entry by a missile traveling approximately 2,000 feet per second, approximately
Dr. CLARK. No, sir. Such a wound could have easily been overlooked in the presence of the much larger wound in the right occipital region of the President's skull, from which considerable blood loss had occurred which stained the back of his head, neck and upper shoulders.
Mr. SPECTER, Dr. Clark, I want to ask you a question as it is raised here in "L' Express".
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