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Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
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  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1752-928X
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3161 journals]
  • Evaluation of urinary catecholamines to reconstruct the individual death
           process after the catastrophe of Rigopiano (Italy)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 January 2020Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): C. D'Ovidio, M. Bonelli, E. Rosato, F. Savini, A. Carnevale
       
  • A unique case of traumatic pulmonary food embolism
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 January 2020Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Fiorella Lanzillotta, Silvia Visonà, Marco Ballardini, Gulnaz T. Javan, Antonio OsculatiAbstractWe report a unique case of post-traumatic pulmonary food embolism, due to a lethal blunt force trauma occurred in a traffic accident.The subject was a 37-year old man, victim of a road traffic accident while he was riding his motorbike. A forensic autopsy, followed by histological examination, was ordered in order to find out the cause of death and to assess the compatibility of the lesions with the dinamic of the accident.Autopsy revealed a blunt force thoraco-abdominal trauma responsible of the death. The most interesting histological evidences concerned lungs. Here, inside arterious and arteriolar pulmonary vessels, we identified crystal-like corpuscles, of various shape and size, sometimes aggregated in small masses and thin vegetal fibers, refracting at polarized light, both PAS-positive and meat fibers shadows.The presence of alimentary material in the pulmonary vessels was explained by a pulmonary food embolism. The occurring of this kind of embolism implies a communication between the viscera lumen and the venous circulation of his wall (through a small wall rupture) in presence of cardiocirculatory activity, and provides, therefore, a strong proof of vitality.
       
  • Skate or die: Unusual circumstances surrounding a natural cause of death
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 January 2020Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Frederique Thicot, Tony FracassoAbstractIn a forensic pathologist's mind, a suspicious death scene involving inflicted injuries and a weapon always raises three possible hypotheses regarding the manner of death—homicide, suicide, or accident; the latter is slightly less common. We present a case of a 43-year-old homeless man with a history of chronic alcohol abuse who was found dead in a skate park in Geneva. He was inflicted with a stab wound to his abdomen, with a knife found in situ. With the suspicion of homicide, a crime scene investigation team, including a forensic pathologist, was summoned to the scene. However, further examination of the body revealed a deep cut with hesitation marks on the left forearm. This discovery raised the hypothesis of a suicide. Here, we have described the investigations made by the police and forensic department, along with the circumstances and autopsy findings that determined the cause of death as an effect of a natural disease.
       
  • Histology and Raman spectroscopy of limed human remains from the Rwandan
           Genocide
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2020Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Eline M.J. Schotsmans, Roland Wessling, W. Alan McClue, Andrew S. Wilson, Howell G.M. Edwards, John DentonAbstractThe Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre is one of the major centres in Rwanda that commemorate the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Seventeen months after the genocide, about 1000 excavated human remains were put on display in Murambi Technical School. Repeated efforts were made to desiccate the human remains with lime for educational reasons. The aim of this study was to assess their state of preservation and understand the extent of degradation of the tissue. Limed soft tissue samples from four individuals were examined with light and electron microscopy, and subjected to histological analysis. Raman spectroscopy at 785 nm and 1064 nm provided information about the impact of environmental conditions on the extent of deterioration to these samples, the presence of organics and the conversion of the associated lime from calcium hydroxide to calcium carbonate. While visual degradation of the bodies in Murambi has been reported, this study confirms deterioration at a microscopic and molecular level. Both histology and Raman spectroscopic analysis revealed that the limed bodies in Murambi were deteriorating at the time the samples were collected. The results of this study will inform future decisions regarding the long-term conservation of those human remains.
       
  • Bruise detection and visibility under alternate light during the first
           three days post-trauma
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 69Author(s): Katherine N. Scafide, Shashi Sharma, Natalie E. Tripp, Matthew J. HayatAbstractIntroductionCutaneous bruises are often hard to detect particularly on individuals with a darker complexion. Researchers and federal agencies have recommended the use of alternate light to aide in the assessment of subtle injury. However, studies are limited in their evaluation of wavelength performance during the first few days of bruise healing. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine whether an alternate light source (ALS) improves detection of bruises when compared to normal light typical of clinical practice during the first three days following induction.MethodsA sample of eight healthy adults between 22 and 36 years of age with diverse skin color were recruited for this study. One bruise was induced on each participant by dropping a 4-oz (113g) steel ball through a 5-ft (1.5 m) vertical pipe onto the anterior surface of the forearm. Using the ALS, bruises were assessed under 14 different combinations of ultraviolet and short narrowband visible wavelengths and filters along with overhead fluorescent “examination” lighting. Participants were examined 3 to 4 times per day at approximately 4-h intervals for three consecutive days post induction.ResultsRepeated bruise assessments on 8 subjects resulted in 59 bruise assessments and 885 total observations under the different wavelengths and filters combinations. A bruise was detectable in 46 (78%) of the assessments, with bruise ages ranging from 30 min to 57 h. Twenty (34%) bruises not detectable under normal light were visible with ASL. Multilevel modeling revealed a strong association between time and detection for shorter wavelengths, such as 365 nm (ultraviolet) and 450 nm.ConclusionThe results of our study suggest alternate light is more likely to detect faint bruises than normal lighting during the first three days post injury. However, more research is needed to determine which wavelengths and filter combinations are most effective during that time frame.
       
  • Review of gunshot fatalities in the Northern part of Ghana; a 6 year
           forensic autopsy based study
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 69Author(s): P.P.S. Ossei, N. Niako, W.G. Ayibor, E. Asante, K.F. Safo, A.S. Mensah, E. Owusu, K.L. AppiahAbstractStudies on firearm fatalities in some parts of Ghana have been reported. However, the incidence and pattern of firearm fatalities in the Northern sector of Ghana have fled the spotlight. This study aimed at reporting the incidence and pattern of gunshot fatalities autopsied within 2008 and 2013 year. There were 82(91.1%) male and 8(8.9%) female victims of gunshot deaths during the study period with an average of 15 cases annually. Where 60(66.7%) of the victims aged within 21–40; years resembling the pattern observed in several parts of the world. A significant number 28(31.1%) of the victims died of multiple shots or dispersed pellets affecting several parts of the body, followed by a single shot to the chest 18(20.0%), abdomen 17(18.9%), head 14(15.6%). Collectively, entry sites like the neck and upper limb among others accounted for 13(14.4%). Robbery accounted for 44(48.9%) followed by homicides 14(15.6%) cases. Recovered pellets, nature and legal status of firearm involved were also examined, and like in several developing countries, country-made guns played a substantial role in the firearm fatalities with calls to strengthen laws governing gun acquisition and use in the country.
       
  • The demographics of patients presenting for sexual assault to US emergency
           departments
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 69Author(s): Randall T. Loder, Tyler P. RobinsonAbstractBackgroundFew studies address the demographics/epidemiology of patients presenting to emergency departments (ED) for evaluation of sexual assault across an entire nation. It was the purpose of this study to analyze the demographics of sexual assault using a national data base.MethodsThis was a retrospective study of prospectively collected data from National Electronic Injury Surveillance System - All Injury Program for years 2005–2013. Patients presenting for sexual assault were analyzed. Descriptive and logistic regression statistical analyses were performed with SUDAAN 11.0.01™ software. A p 
       
  • Review of the pattern of traumatic limb lesions sustained in cases of
           hanging
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 69Author(s): Mark Mc Cabe, Noorusamah Nadia Fyzul, Linda Mulligan, Michael Curtis, Marie CassidyAbstractThis retrospective study sought to identify a regular pattern of limb bruising which occurs in association with suicidal or accidental hanging. Following exclusion of cases suspicious for homicide, 82 consecutive cases of hanging from a 10-year period were retrospectively reviewed to identify the pattern of traumatic limb injury in each case. Relevant information such as location, toxicology, and type of suspension was also noted. 72% of the reviewed cases had traumatic limb lesions, the majority of which occurred on the posterior upper limb and the anterior lower limb. Although the distribution of limb injury in our study mirrored that found in the literature, the incidence is much higher than in previous studies (7.4–20%). This could either be due to differences in confounding factors such as intoxication and location of hanging or differences in the practice of recording of limb trauma in hanging between centres. Neither type of suspension nor location of hanging were significantly associated with an increased incidence of traumatic limb injury. Positive toxicology was found to increase the likelihood of sustaining limb injury (p = .044084). In conclusion, the presence of this well documented pattern of traumatic limb lesions in cases of hanging should not always raise suspicion of foul play.
       
  • Injury patterns of less lethal kinetic impact projectiles used by law
           enforcement officers
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 69Author(s): Jennifer A. Beatty, Jason P. Stopyra, John H. Slish, William P. Bozeman
       
  • The “compassionate medicine” in the past and in the present
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 December 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Rosagemma Ciliberti, Giuseppe Armocida, Marta Licata
       
  • Prohibiting medically assisted procreation to gay couples is not
           illegitimate
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 December 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Andrea Cioffi, Fernanda CioffiAbstractIn Italy, the law n. 40 of 2004 (Norms in matter of medically assisted procreation), allows to access to the techniques of Medically assisted Procreation (MAP) exclusively to couples formed by two individuals of different sex. On the basis of this law, two couples of homosexual women were prohibited from using MAP techniques. For this reason, the couples have appealed to the competent courts that have raised doubts of constitutional legitimacy. In June 2019, the Italian Constitutional Court stated that it is not illegal to prohibit gay couples from accessing MAP techniques. In October 2019, the judgment No. 221, in which this decision is based, was published. Following the publication of the judgment, a bioethical-legal debate arose on this issue: is this a discrimination, or a simple limit based on medical-legal criteria'
       
  • Istanbul Protocol implementation in Central Asia: Bending the arc of the
           moral universe
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 November 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Vincent Iacopino, Rohini J. Haar, Michele Heisler, Rusudan BeriashviliAbstractIn countries emerging from authoritarian rule, a major challenge is ending often widespread and systematic torture and ill-treatment practices. Between 2011 and 2019, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation (OSF), the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) and regional and local partners, worked to establish effective torture investigation and documentation practices in the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. Our approach consisted of activities in three sequential phases – (1) assessment, (2) capacity building, and (3) policy reform. In this paper, we briefly describe activities during each phase and identify key lessons learned from these experiences and resulting policy and program reforms as a model for future efforts in other settings.
       
  • Biochemical findings in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: Hospital
           based case-control study
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 November 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Shyam Kishore, Sudhir Kumar Gupta, Sudheer Kumar Arava, Asit Ranjan Mridha, Ashok Kumar Jaiswal, Asit Kumar Sikary, Deepak Ramkumar Bharti, Chittaranjan BeheraAbstractPurposeA review study on the biochemistry of epilepsy showed that in epileptic patients, serum glucose and cholesterol concentrations are low, sodium is unaffected, potassium increases, glucose is high and mild hypocalcemia. We have conducted a biochemical study on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) cases in an attempt to establish the characteristic biochemical values to diagnose these deaths.MethodsThis was a hospital based case-control study done at the center of one year. Twenty SUDEP cases and 20 age- and sex-matched controls were included in the study. Femoral blood, cerebrospinal fluid, vitreous humor, and pericardial fluid were biochemically analyzed for sodium, potassium, calcium, glucose, N-acetyl- cysteine activated creatine kinase (CK-NAC) and isoenzyme CK-MB.ResultSerum sodium, CK-MB and CK-NAC level was found significantly increased and potassium level was found decreased in SUDEP cases in comparison to non-epileptic deaths. Likewise, in CSF, sodium and CK-NAC was found increased and potassium level was found decreased in SUDEP cases. In vitreous humor, sodium and CK-MB level was found increased and potassium level was found decreased in SUDEP cases in comparison to non-epileptic deaths. In pericardial fluid, sodium, CK-NAC and CK-MB level was found increased and potassium level was found decreased in SUDEP cases in comparison to non-epileptic deaths.ConclusionIt concludes that high sodium level and low potassium level could be associated with SUDEP. However, this is a small size study, a larger study is needed to verify the findings. Furthermore, it is difficult to conclude whether these findings are exclusive to SUDEP.
       
  • Indicatory external findings in two cases of fatal cervical spine injury
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 October 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Clara-Sophie Schwarz, Katrin Uebbing, Tanja Germerott, Astrid KrauskopfAbstractA fatality of an 83-year-old female experiencing acute circulatory failure as a result of a type II odontoid fracture is compared with the case of an 86-year-old female who died from delayed cardiopulmonary complications due to a lower cervical spine injury. Falls on the forehead from minor height can cause odontoid fractures especially in elderly patients, hyperextension of the neck on the other hand can lead to lower cervical spine injury with prevertebral hematoma. The latter can lead to extensive hematoma of the neck, but might be difficult to diagnose by computed tomography in the living patient. Especially in cases of elderly patients showing bruises on the forehead or extensive neck hematoma, the possibility of cervical spine fracture should be taken into account and postmortem examinations should be arranged commensurately.
       
  • Death certification in England must evolve (Considering current
           technology)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 October 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Pablo MILLARES MARTINABSTRACTThe death certificate form used in England and Wales is analysed, compared to other available forms in top ranking economies, to determine its fitness for purpose. There are several restrictions linked to its use and also many limitations. Areas where it can evolve and where improvement can be achieved are suggested.
       
  • Isolation and culture of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal/stem
           cells harvested from postmortem adipose tissues
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 October 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Takashi Saito, Takako Sato, Koichi SuzukiMany cell types maintain their function short-term after death. Stem cells isolated from postmortem tissues have been successfully applied in transplantation studies. However, stem cell viability and stemness are reported to decline with increased time after death. Although postmortem stem cells may be useful for regenerative therapy and forensic diagnostics, their characteristic remain to be better understood. Adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (ASCs) have the capacity to differentiate through several cell lineages and are able to survive in an ischemic environment for a prolonged time. This study aimed to confirm whether human postmortem ASCs can be collected and culture-expanded from cadavers. Axilla subcutaneous adipose tissues were harvested during forensic autopsy and enzymatically digested to obtain a heterogeneous cell mixture, including the ASCs population. The mixture was seeded onto collagen-coated cell culture dishes and spindle-shaped adhesive and proliferative ASCs were confirmed. Senescent cells were also present, visualized as large and flattened cells. When maintained in a cool environment, ASCs were able to survive in the postmortem tissues for up to 7 days after death. We conclude that postmortem ASCs can be readily isolated and culture-expanded from adipose tissues.Graphical abstractImage 1
       
  • Risks and benefits of transnational exchange of forensic DNA data in the
           EU: The views of professionals operating the Prüm system
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 October 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Helena Machado, Rafaela GranjaAbstractUnder EU Law, Member States are compelled to engage in reciprocal automated forensic DNA profile exchange within the so-called Prüm system. Presently, 24 operational EU Member States exchange DNA data within the Prüm system to combat terrorism and cross-border crime. This article discusses the perceived risks and benefits of the Prüm system on the basis of a set of 37 interviews conducted in 22 EU countries, with 47 professionals operating the system (the National Contact Points – NCPs).The perceived benefits relate to the intensification of tools for combating transnational criminality; development of standardisation and harmonisation of forensic DNA testing procedures; and reinforcement of professional cooperation. The perceived risks are associated to the possibility that individuals may be prosecuted on the basis of false positives; the lack of available data to measure the effectiveness of the Prüm system; and the different modus operandi of police forces and judicial authorities. Our results reveal that perspectives on the risks and benefits of the Prüm system significantly vary according to the type of work performed by the NCPs. Our data shows a more complex range of perceived benefits and risks than those suggested in previous studies about the Prüm system.
       
  • Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS) Users on AAS Use: Negative Effects,
           ‘Code of Silence’, and Implications for Forensic and Medical
           Professionals
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 September 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Andrew Richardson, Georgios A. AntonopoulosAbstractAnabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) that can improve endurance and athletic performance, reduce body fat and stimulate muscle growth. The use of steroids has been studied in the medical and psychological literature, in the sociology of sport, health and masculinity, and relatively recently in criminology. Whilst there is significant medical and psychological evidence on the short term and longer side effects of AAS, there is surprisingly very little evidence based on the users’ perception of the negative aspects of AAS use. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in a locale in the Northeast of England and additional interviews with 24 AAS users, the article offers an account of the negatives aspects of AAS as put forwards by users (acne, abscess, and mood alterations), and highlights the ‘code of silence’ that exists around AAS use. This ‘code’ makes AAS users a ‘hard-to-reach’ group for medical professionals. By listening to the participants’ perspectives, forensic and medical professionals can be better informed towards monitoring and reducing harms from AAS.
       
  • Inmates beheaded in a Brazil prison riot: human identification by ear
           individual signs
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 September 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Gilberto Paiva de Carvalho, Yasmin Comoti Vita BantimAbstractDeaths that occur in prisons riots can be by extreme violence. When unrecognizable corpses are referred for examination, the process of human identification is hampered. The aim of this study is to present applicability in human identification by ear individual signs in an inmate beheaded in Brazil prison riot. Ten prisoners died in the rebellion being discussed. Seven corpses had been burned, and three of them were beheaded. For the examination, only two heads were presented. Three families were consulted. They informed that suspect 1 had a "front tooth failure" in the anterior maxilla and no dental records, while a second family brought a panoramic radiograph (suspect 2) and the last family (suspect 3) sent one photograph. Suspects 2 and 3 were considered incompatible. Information about suspect 1, such as "front tooth failure" in the anterior maxilla and anthropological facial aspects, provided compatibles clues. The absence of dental documentation stimulated the search for other characteristics conserved in the head under study. The left ear presented good conservation for a comparative method. Morphological ear variations enabled identification to be achieved for an inmate beheaded in a prison riot, demonstrating the method´s applicability and reliability. The certainty of the death of a relative allows the normal grief process to start, decreasing psychological morbidity. Mixed feelings between hope and despair are reduced. Therefore, this is a high priority for forensic experts in these cases.
       
  • DISCREDITED THEORIES AND COURT DECISIONS
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 September 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Roger W. Byard
       
  • Common errors in writing the cause of death certificate in the Middle East
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Mohammed Madadin, Aishah S. Alhuman, Naimah A. Bushulaybi, Assayl R. Alotaibi, Hala A. Aldakhil, Arwa Y. Alghamdi, Norah K. Al-Abdulwahab, Shahad Y. Assiri, Nesreen A. Alumair, Fai A. Almulhim, Ritesh G. MenezesAbstractA death certificate is an official document in which the medical practitioner primarily records the cause of death sequence, the time interval between the onset of the cause of death and death, and personal details of the deceased. Errors in death certificate documentation are not uncommon. We aim to review the common errors in writing the cause of death certificate in the Middle East. For this review, we searched the PubMed database using a comprehensive search strategy to identify studies from the Middle East that reported errors in the cause of death certification from inception to August 17, 2019. Of the 308 items initially identified, 5 were eligible for inclusion. These studies were reported from only a few countries (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Palestine) in the Middle East and did not represent all the countries geographically located in the Middle East. The Middle East is not immune to errors in the medical certification of the cause of death. Absence of cause of death, inappropriate listing and sequencing of the causes of death, mentioning the mechanism or mode of death instead of the cause of death, absence of time interval between the onset of the cause of death and death, use of abbreviations and symbols instead of formal medical terminology, and absence of the certifying medical practitioner’s signature were the commonly death certification errors observed in this regional literature review. Additional studies to assess death certification errors in all the Middle East countries are needed. Efforts should be made to compulsorily include the teaching and learning of cause of death certification in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Interactive workshops on drafting the cause of death certificate should be periodically conducted for the benefit of the interns and residents.
       
  • Understanding diversity and distribution of the insect assemblages
           associated with carrions
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Yuno Do, Seung Yeon Lee, Ki Wha Chung, Tae-Young MoonAbstract375 case studies from 120 publications published over the last three decades on forensic entomology were reviewed to determine how many carcass-associated insects have been described globally and which species are relatively important among carcass-associated insects. A total of 1213 carcass-associated insects belonging to 91 families of 10 orders were described from 375 case studies in nine habitat types of 30 countries with 24 subjects including humans and non-human animals. There were 564 and 515 species from the orders Diptera and Coleoptera, respectively, which was almost 90% of the total species recorded. The richness and distribution of dead body-associated insects considerably differed among countries, habitats, and dead body types. We propose some species based on criteria including distribution, occurrence frequency, and resource preference.
       
  • Mental health pathways from a sexual assault centre: A review of the
           literature
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): C. Brooker, E. Hughes, B. Lloyd-Evans, T. Stefanidou
       
  • Does Organ Donation Impact on Forensic Outcomes' A Review of Coronial
           Outcomes and Criminal Trial Proceedings
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Leo Nunnink, Nigel Stobbs, Chelsea Wallace-Dixon, Belinda CarpenterAbstractDespite increases in organ donation rates, there continue to be waiting lists for patients in urgent need of transplantation. Where a death occurs under a number of specific circumstances, donation can only proceed where a coroner consents to donation. In deaths that are reportable under the Coroners Act, concerns about compromising autopsy evidence can be barriers to gaining coronial consent for retrieval.ObjectivesThis study aimed to identify the impact of organ donation, where it did occur, on coronial processes and on trial proceedings where a criminal trial ensued. Where donation was restricted by the coroner or forensic pathologist we sought to determine whether it would have affected forensic determinations.Designand Setting: We retrospectively examined 177 records of reportable deaths referred for organ donation over a four year period in Queensland Australia. We also reviewed records of any criminal proceedings which were commenced in relation to these deaths.ResultsThere were 10 cases in which the forensic pathologist recommended restrictions to organ donation with the loss of a number of organs to transplantation. There was no case where organ donation altered the outcome of criminal proceedings or significantly impacted cause of death findings.ConclusionsOrgan donation, where permitted, had limited impact on autopsy evidence and any subsequent court proceedings. Where organ donation was not permitted, autopsy evidence did not significantly alter coronial findings or judicial outcomes.
       
  • The Indian Dental Litigation Landscape: an Analysis of Judgments on Dental
           Negligence Claims in Indian Consumer Redressal Forums
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Rooban Thavarajah, Vijaykumar Saranya, Bhavanishankar PriyaABSTRACTIntroductionDental malpractice/negligence litigations against dentists in India is not widely studied. The aim of this study is to report the Indian dentist related litigation landscape in consumer redressal forum (CRF) and to understand more of the nature of the same.Material and method111 cases of judgments of dental malpractice in Indian CRF were collected. Useful information was extracted, reported in a grid and statistically analyzed. Data was compared by claim, specialty, treatment offered, days lapsed and compensation awarded. P≤0.05 was taken as statistically significant.ResultsIn all, 44 (39.63%) dentists were found guilty. Thirty dentists had produced at least one evidence in their favor. Among them, 23 outcomes were in dentist’s favor.(P=0.02) The mean wait for final judgment was 1945±1286(193-6762) days. The mean compensation claimed was INR 577287±905898. Presence of evidence (dentists/patients) had an impact on the days to reach a judgment as well as compensation.ConclusionIndian dental litigation landscape CRF has been described for the first time. We identified that CRF litigation of dental malpractice are few, as compared to procedures performed in India. Oral surgical procedures were often involved and 40% of instances, dentists were guilty and mean compensation awarded was INR 103998±158976.
       
  • Dental evaluation specificity in orofacial damage assessment: a serial
           case study.
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Cristina Figueiredo, Joana Coelho, Diana Pedrosa, Catarina Caetano, Francisco Corte-Real, Duarte Nuno Vieira, Ana Corte-RealAbstractIntroductionThe evaluation of medico-legal post-traumatic events has been increasing over the last decades. This study analysed the input of dental evaluation in orofacial damage assessment, highlighting the individual's biopsychosocial model, by a serial case study. It is aimed to analyse the physical as well as the psychological repercussions of traumatic events. It also aimed to relate the type of trauma impact with the individual’s sequelae.Material and MethodAn observational and retrospective study was carried out of Portuguese medico-legal database. A serial case study was distinguished by the direction of the impact: frontal striking, lateral striking and clashing with a bidirectional (frontal-lateral).Resultsand Discussion: 7 cases fulfilled the inclusion criteria, as a pilot study. They have in common the involvement of the 2 lower thirds of the face, including the temporomandibular joint. The consolidation of the maxillary bone fractures does not always correspond to restituto ad integrum.ConclusionThe impact direction may guide clinical examination in detecting permanent impairment, emphasizing temporomandibular joint disorders, as well as their association with psychosocial repercussions. The medical-dental examination is differentiating and relevant to the accomplishment of the general objective of damage assessment.
       
  • The visibilities and invisibilities of race entangled with forensic DNA
           phenotyping technology
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Filipa QueirósAbstractForensic DNA phenotyping (FDP) technology represents a set of techniques that aim to predict physical features of criminal suspects, such as eye, skin and hair colour, and also ethnicity through the inference of biogeographic ancestry from their biological samples. In contrast to other forensic technologies, FDP is not used for identification purposes but valued for its potential intelligence value. Since features predicted by FDP relate to common traits shared by different population groups, critical voices highlight that this technology may (re)create dynamics of collectivisation of suspect populations.Looking at the criminal justice system, this paper aims to explore the diverse understandings of FDP by professionals working in forensic laboratories and by the members of police forces, alongside the automatic exchange of genetic profiles to fight cross-border crime. Their perceptions are explored according to the perceived potential investigative value and potential threats of FDP. Furthermore, we discuss how racial issues are implicitly and explicitly present in these narratives. Results show that FDP may be ushering in a new assemblage of racial issues along three entangled dimensions: the differentiating power of externally visible characteristics, the comparison between genetic and eyewitness testimonies, and the collectivisation of suspicion.
       
  • Forensic evidence in atrocity trials: A risky sampling strategy'
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Caroline FournetAbstractIn the light of the recent judgments issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), including two acquittals and one very recent condemnation of the accused on all charges, analyzing and assessing evidentiary practice before the Court is all the more pressing. This article focuses on one particular type of evidence used by the Prosecution, namely, forensic evidence, to critically review how it has been used so far at the ICC and consider whether the prosecutorial strategy of focusing on a certain sample of crimes is finally paying off.
       
  • Estimation of stature from radiographically determined lower limb bone
           length in modern Chinese
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Kui Zhang, Meng-jun Zhan, Jing-hui Cui, Ying-zhen Luo, Li-rong Qiu, Li-ping Deng, Zhen-lin Li, Xiao-gang Chen, Zhen-hua DengAbstractTo develop population - specific stature prediction equations from measurements of the lower limb bone in a contemporary Chinese. 303 individuals of Han group in Western China, including 201 females and 102 males were collected. The study sample was randomly divided into two subgroups. A calibration sample, which consisted of 171 females and 87 males, was used to develop the regression formula. A validation sample comprising the remaining 30 female and 15 male individuals was then used to test the predictive accuracy of the established formula. The regression equations were developed from intact bones and fragments of the femur, tibia and fibula, the maximum lengths of femur, tibia, and fibula were highly correlated with the stature. The maximum length of femur provide the most accurate result with the prediction accuracy of 3.84 cm for unknown sex, 4.00 cm in the male group, 3.45 cm in the female group, 3.61 cm in the group with age no more than 45, 3.45 cm in the group with age above 45. Moreover, the multiple regression equations were developed, and they portray a more accurate stature in instances in which the femur, tibia and fibula are available. This paper provides indications that the femur, tibia and fibula are important bones for stature estimation and they could be effectively used in forensic cases.
       
  • Three groups of suspects in police reported rape cases: First-time
           suspects, recidivists and unidentified suspects. A comparative study
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 February 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Bjarte Frode Vik, Kirsten Rasmussen, Berit Schei, Cecilie Therese HagemannAbstractBackgroundPrevious studies show that reported suspects in adult rape cases often have a criminal record, and that many are rape recidivists. Annual numbers of police reported rapes have dramatically increased but the proportion of rapes being prosecuted and numbers of convictions are low. To increase knowledge about the suspects in cases of police reported rapes; whether they have committed the crime before or not may inform preventive measures.AimsTo compare suspect, victim, and assault related characteristics among different groups of police-reported rape suspects (first-time suspects, recidivist suspects and unidentified suspects).MethodsRetrospective, descriptive study of suspects in cases of rape or attempted rape reported by women ≥16 years of age in the Sør-Trøndelag police district, Norway, from 2003 to 2010.ResultsAmong the 356 suspects included, 207 (58%) were first-time suspects, 75 (21%) were recidivists and 74 (21%) were unidentified. Being a first-time suspect was significantly associated with victim being
       
 
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