Dr. Stevenson’s most recent contribution to studies of cases of the reincarnation type is an examination of cases in which birthmarks or birth defects seem to correspond to physical features of the "former person," often to fatal wounds. An unusual birthmark, for example, might correspond in shape and position to a previous person’s knife wound. Or severe and unusual birth defects in a person’s legs, defects in the form of ropelike constrictions, might correspond to the injuries of a previous person tied by the legs and killed
A child, one may suppose, might fantasize a previous life, with help from normally acquired knowledge or from what he has learned through ESP. Or adults might wishfully persuade themselves that a child’s statements were more accurate than they were. Or conniving adults might use a child to put up a hoax.
But how is it, we might ask, that a child would show severe and statistically rare birth defects corresponding to wounds verified by medical records to have been inflicted on the body of a person whose life he seems to remember?
Such are the questions dealt with in Dr. Stevenson’s two-volume work Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects, a collection of case histories, with analysis, amounting to more than two thousand pages.
Dr. Stevenson has also dealt with this research in a more accessible summary, Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect.