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Medicine, Science, and the Law

Roger W Byard, Carl Winskog, Karen Heath
Suicide pacts usually result in simultaneous deaths by mutual arrangement. While nitrogen and helium gas inhalation are being increasingly used in solitary suicide attempts, for some reason they have been rarely utilised in suicide pacts. A search of autopsy files at Forensic Science SA over a 15-year period (2003-2017) was undertaken to determine how often this method of joint suicide occurs. Only two cases were found. Case 1 comprised a 64-year-old husband and wife (who had a history of multiple sclerosis)...
February 13, 2019: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Kazuhiko Kibayashi, Ryo Shimada, Ken-Ichiro Nakao
Traumatic dissection of the carotid arteries is a rare cause of delayed death due to hanging. We report a case of delayed death two and a half months following attempted suicide by hanging where the patient was able to talk after being released from neck compression. The cause of death was aspiration pneumonia due to cerebral infarction secondary to traumatic dissection of the left common carotid artery due to attempted suicide by hanging. Carotid artery injuries should be examined in patients who were able to talk after an unsuccessful suicide attempt by hanging but who later died...
January 24, 2019: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Simon A Hill, Elliott Riordan-Eva, Alexandra Hosking
This paper uses data produced by the Ministry of Justice to look for trends in the numbers of various categories of patients detained under the Mental Health Act in England and Wales between 2003 and 2016. Specifically, we have focussed on patients detained with Ministry of Justice restrictions in place. The number of 'restricted' patients, who are largely detained in secure psychiatric hospitals, has risen substantially during this period. If this trend continues, there will be the need for further expansion of secure psychiatric beds in the years ahead...
January 22, 2019: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Neha Baryah, Kewal Krishan, Tanuj Kanchan
Forensic anthropology deals with the identification of human remains in a legal setting. The primary role of a forensic anthropologist is to evaluate human skeletal remains and ascertain the biological profile of the deceased. Forensic anthropologists thus use their expertise to assist medical examiners, as well as law enforcement agencies. Forensic anthropology was not recognised as a subject specialty of much significance in most parts of the world for a long time. However, now its status has changed, mostly in the USA and parts of Europe...
January 19, 2019: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Yosuke Usumoto, Keiko Kudo, Akiko Tsuji, Yoko Ihama, Noriaki Ikeda
Forensic pathologists use post-mortem phenomena to estimate the post-mortem interval (PMI). We have reported on the usefulness of post-mortem lividity spectrophotometric values to estimate PMIs. Here, we focused on blood colour, looking for associations between blood colour, age and PMI. We generated predictive equations for blood-colour values and the PMI. We included data from a total of 129 cadavers (84 males and 45 females). We measured the colour of 124 left ventricular blood ( L*l , a*l , b*l ), 123 right ventricular blood ( L*r , a*r , b*r ) and 57 femoral blood ( L*f , a*f , b*f ) samples...
January 8, 2019: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Asit Kumar Sikary
This study formulated a regression equation to estimate the maximum overhead reach of a person using his/her height. Height and maximum overhead reach of participants aged 21-30 years were measured. A regression equation was formulated to find the relation between height and maximum overhead reach. The regression equation to estimate maximum overhead reach from height for all the participants was calculated to be 1.46× h+0.02. Based on sex, for males, the equation was 1.40× h+11.22, and for females it was 1...
December 4, 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Lee J Curley, Rory MacLean, Jennifer Murray, Phyllis Laybourn, David Brown
The Scottish legal system is a unique jurisdiction, as jurors are able to give not proven verdicts in addition to the well-known Anglo-American verdicts (guilty and not guilty). The not proven verdict has never been legally defined, meaning that currently legal practitioners can only estimate why a not proven verdict has been given. The main aim of this study was to investigate if jurors violate the regularity principle, which is commonly incorporated in many rational choice models, by testing if the introduction of the not proven verdict has an impact on the outcomes given by jurors...
December 1, 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Ning Xiao, Sheng-Dong Li, Xue Zhang, Yan-Geng Yu, Fu Zhang, Wei-Dong Zhao, Dong-Ri Li
Tyre imprints on the skin are usually considered to be the result of being run over by a motor vehicle. This article reports a traffic accident in which tyre marks on the victim's skin were caused by a collision rather than by being run over. The mechanism of the injury in this case is analysed and discussed. A 23-year-old male drove a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol and collided with a sign pillar on the side of the road. Both the victim and the motorcycle careened into the bottom of a tractor-trailer...
November 12, 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Samuele Manzoni, Andrea Ossoli, Venusia Cortellini, Andrea Verzeletti
Forensic examination of human remains is a complex process that relies on the contribution of multidisciplinary forensic medicine specialties. Here we present a complex forensic case regarding a double murder whose victims were found almost completely skeletonized. Post-mortem investigations allowed us to define the biological profile of the two bodies (ancestry, sex, age and stature), to discover their identity through forensic DNA analysis, and to detect peri-mortem injuries caused by firearms and stabbing weapons...
November 12, 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Alec Samuels
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Chaurasia Sangita, Goel Garima, Yadav Jayanthi, Arora Arneet, Kapoor Neelkamal
Cutaneous electrocution marks are the key indicator that aid forensic pathologists in establishing electrocution as the cause of death, especially when crime scene and internal autopsy findings do not provide significant information. The gross findings of electrocution mark are often confused with impact abrasion and the burns produced by high voltage flash are often indistinguishable with flame burns. The present study aims to identify cutaneous light microscopic histological indicators, which are peculiar to electrocution marks, burns and impact abrasions...
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Marek Kowalczyk, Ewelina Zawadzka, Dariusz Szewczuk, Magdalena Gryzińska, Andrzej Jakubczak
Forensic genetics is a field that has become subject to increasing interest in recent years. Both the technology and the markers used for forensic purposes have changed since the 1980s. The minisatellite sequences used in the famous Pitchfork case introduced genetics to the forensic sciences. Minisatellite sequences have now been replaced by more sensitive microsatellite markers, which have become the basis for the creation of genetic profile databases. Modern molecular methods also exploit single nucleotide polymorphisms, which are often the only way to identify degraded DNA samples...
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Philippe Charlier, Fabiola Bou Abdallah, Yasmine Mostefai-Dulac, Marie-Pascale Morel
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Ayse Kurtulus Dereli, Goksin Nilufer Demırci, Yavuz Dodurga, Seda Özbal, Ulker Cankurt, Bora Boz, Esat Adiguzel, Kemalettin Acar
Disorders of the serotonergic system are especially known to be present in the neurobiology of suicidal behavior. Studies investigating melatonin levels show that changes in pineal gland functions may also play a role in the pathogenesis of suicide. However, to our knowledge, there are no studies evaluating the activity of pinealocytes responsible for melatonin synthesis in suicide. This preliminary study aimed to investigate the relationship among pinealocyte, acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT) immunoreactivity, and suicide...
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Abiramy Eswaravel, Aileen O'Brien
Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 is an authority allowing police officers to remove a person 'who appears to him to be suffering from mental disorder' from a public area. There has been much media coverage regarding the inappropriate detention of minors under section 136 and the suggestion that many were taken to police cells, as there were no suitable places of safety. Although previous studies describe characteristics of a typical individual detained under section 136, few distinguish the differences between adults and adolescents...
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Janos Bokor, Krisztina Danics, Eva Keller, Zoltan Szollosi
Ethylene glycol (EG) may be acutely toxic following ingestion. In fatal cases, microscopic examination of urine and kidney specimens can establish a post-mortem diagnosis of EG poisoning. We describe the main renal histopathologic changes during different stages of EG poisoning, which might be helpful when dating the EG poisoning itself. A single-centre retrospective study conducted on all EG poisoning cases demonstrated that in an early stage of EG poisoning, fine dust-like crystals were deposited to the tubular cell basement membrane, followed by internalisation of calcium oxalate crystals into the epithelial cells...
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Jack Garland, Rexson Tse
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Lee J Curley, Jennifer Murray, Rory MacLean, Phyllis Laybourn, David Brown
The current study focussed on the decision-making processes of jurors. The study investigated how jurors make a decision, if they integrate information within their decision-making process and if cue utilisation thresholds promote confirmation bias. To do this, 108 participants listened to one of nine cases. These participants were asked to give a likelihood of guilt rating after each piece of evidence, to state what the last piece of information was that they needed to make a decision and to give a final verdict at the end of a trial...
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Siobhan O'Donovan, Corinna van den Huevel, Matthew Baldock, Roger W Byard
Motor-vehicle collisions are the leading cause of unintentional injury and death in children in many parts of the world, including Europe, North America and Australia. The number of fatal collisions has decreased considerably in countries where safety measures such as child restraints, seat belts and air bags have been introduced, providing protection for children within vehicles, although it is recognised that there have been concomitant improvements in emergency responses and techniques, and in hospital treatments...
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Elliott Riordan-Eva, Simon A Hill, Alexandra Leipold
There is limited research that comments on whether there are recurring patterns for incidents or significant events during inpatient admissions to psychiatric units. This is even more so the case for an adolescent population. This study looked at 30 consecutive female patient admissions to Bluebird House, a medium secure adolescent unit in the South of England, to identify whether both the 'honeymoon effect' (low incident rate in the first 28 days following admission) and 'gate fever' (high incident rate in the last 28 days prior to discharge) were identifiable phenomena...
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
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