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Medicine, Science, and the Law

Kieran M Kennedy, Peter G Green, J Jason Payne-James
Complaints management is an integral component of good clinical governance and an essential contributor to patient safety. Little is known about complaints against health-care professionals (HCPs) in police custodial settings and sexual assault referral centres. This study explored the frequency with which complaints are made against such HCPs working in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It explored the nature of those complaints and the procedures by which they are investigated. Relevant information was requested from all police services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; professional regulatory bodies; and the Independent Police Complaints Commission under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)...
January 1, 2017: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Kimberley J Omond, Roger W Byard
A 55-year-old wheelchair-bound woman with severe cerebral palsy was found at autopsy to have marked distention of the stomach due to a volvulus. The stomach was viable, and filled with air and fluid and had pushed the left dome of the diaphragm upwards causing marked compression of the left lung with a mediastinal shift to the right (including the heart). There was no evidence of gastric perforation, ischaemic necrosis or peritonitis. Removal of the organ block revealed marked kyphoscoliosis. Histology confirmed the viability of the stomach and biochemistry showed no dehydration...
January 1, 2017: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Ravindran Neeilan, Aileen O'Brien
Sections 47 and 48 of the Mental Health Act 1983 allow prisoners to be transferred from prison to an appropriate health-care setting in order to be treated. There is an awareness that delays exist when transferring prisoners to hospital. However, literature regarding the delay in returning these patients from hospital is limited. The admissions from prison to a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in South West London were compared to non-offenders on the PICU in order to compare the average length of stay for both groups and the time taken for the discharge from PICU once felt clinically appropriate...
January 2017: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Lalić Hrvoje
By describing three different war casualty cases, this paper highlights the harshness of current legal regulations in Croatia, and the possible consequences of their strict implementation. In two of the three cases the second instance expert witness has ultimately found that, due to legal procedures being followed too strictly, the expert witness initially assessing the cases had exceeded the legal framework and actually assessed patients, that is, individuals claiming disability benefits, inadequately. However, in the third case the expert witnesses employed by the Disability Pension Insurance Institute were right in deciding that the claimant was not entitled to a higher category of disability...
January 2017: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Slobodan Nikolić, Vladimir Živković
Herein, a potentially dangerous explosive home-made device used for fun and entertainment is described. It consists of two iron parts connected with a U-shaped thick wire: a wedge about 8 cm in length, which fits into a hollow cylinder, filled with a small amount of nitre (the mineral form of potassium nitrate). Striking the device onto a hard surface creates a spark inside it, which burns the nitre, producing a very loud bang. We are in possession of such device in our forensic museum collection. We present a case from 1937 related to the use of this explosive home-made device...
November 23, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Abhishek Yadav, Adarsh Kumar, Rajanikanta Swain, Sudhir Kumar Gupta
Delhi is the second largest city of the world both in terms of population and area, as well as being the capital of India. Every year, thousands of people from different states throng to the capital in search of a job in order to earn a living. When these people die and their bodies are found without any identifying documentation, it is very difficult for the police to establish their identities. These bodies are labelled as unidentified/unclaimed or unknown, and are sent for usually sent for medicolegal autopsy...
November 21, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Alison M Eychner, Kelly M Schott, Kelly M Elkins
The purpose of this study was to evaluate which DNA extraction method yields the highest quantity of DNA from chewing gum. In this study, several popular extraction methods were tested, including Chelex-100, phenol-chloroform-isoamyl alcohol (PCIA), DNA IQ, PrepFiler, and QIAamp Investigator, and the quantity of DNA recovered from chewing gum was determined using real-time polymerase chain reaction with Quantifiler. Chewed gum control samples were submitted by anonymous healthy adult donors, and discarded environmental chewing gum samples simulating forensic evidence were collected from outside public areas (e...
October 28, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Fumiko Satoh, Motoki Osawa
We examined 169 deceased persons and 76 homicide-suicide cases reported in Japan's Kanagawa Prefecture from 1999 to 2011. The relationships between homicide-suicide perpetrators and homicide victims; the numbers of victims; their age, sex, causes and places of death; motivation; and the presence or absence of a suicide note were extracted and examined. The relationship between homicide-suicide perpetrators and homicide victims was examined based on findings from the following: 24 married couples (31%), 22 parents and children aged ≥18 years (29%), 19 parents and children aged ≤17 years (25%), seven families (9%), two couples (3%) and two miscellaneous relationships (3%)...
October 3, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
P U Telisinghe, Senarath M Colombage, Pg Md Bahrin Pg Hj Aliuddin
Deaths resulting from carbon-monoxide poisoning have been reported in the medical literature under diverse circumstances. Here, we report four deaths due to carbon-monoxide poisoning as a result of a traditional practice involving the application of heat to the abdomen to facilitate uterine involution during the immediate post-partum period. Four people died due to carbon-monoxide poisoning in two separate incidents, including two women in the post-partum period. In both instances, the women slept beside a stove with burning charcoal, which was supposed to provide warmth to the lower abdomen...
September 14, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Roger W Byard, Maria Bellis, Neil Ei Langlois
Careful examination of the skin and soft tissues is a routine part of the forensic autopsy to identify and characterise traumatic lesions. Three cases are reported where benign vascular lesions presented as bruises. In case 1, a 44-year-old man with a history of epilepsy was found dead on the floor. Dissection of the neck revealed a haemorrhagic area 15 mm × 1.5 mm, deep to the left thyrohyoid muscle. In case 2, an 87-year-old man was found dead with a plastic bag over his head attached to an opened cylinder of nitrogen gas...
September 10, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Subhendu Mallik, Sudipta Ranjan Singh, Manoj Kumar Mohanty, Niranjan Padhy
Snake bite is an important public health issue in India and is almost always accidental in manner. Suicide by snake bite or injection of snake venom is extremely rare. Suicidal ideation and behavior is known to be influenced by various socio-economic and psychological factors. The method employed for suicide is also influenced by the occupation of the victim. We report a case where a snake charmer had attempted suicide by inflicting a bite by a monocled cobra.
July 14, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Hugh Grant-Peterkin, Hilary Pickles, Cornelius Katona
Asylum seekers and migrants can be detained in immigration removal centres (IRCs) or, post sentence, in prison while the Home Office makes decisions on their immigration status and/or arrangements for their removal or deportation. Currently, there is no process for identifying detainees who lack the mental capacity to participate in decision making relating to their immigration situation. Mental illness and distress are common among detainees. There are often cultural and language barriers; there is no consistent system of advocates, and many detainees are without legal representation...
July 14, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Rajanikanta Swain, Chittaranjan Behera, Sudhir Kumar Gupta
The study presents a retrospective analysis of 64 cases of death resulting from ingestion of corrosive substances. The cases represented approximately 0.4% of all autopsies conducted and 13.6% of all fatal poisonings studied during the 10-year period from January 2005 to December 2014 at the Department of Forensic Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. The data was analyzed with regard to age, sex, nature and source of corrosive substance used, survival period, cause and manner of death...
July 8, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Jem Barton-Hanson, Renu Barton-Hanson
The aims of this article are to consider the effects of hindsight bias on findings of negligence in medico-legal litigation and of the potential of the original Bolam direction to eliminate bias from the decision-making process. The Bolam test may have been expanded beyond its appropriate scope in the past, but these excesses have now largely been undone. It will be shown that Bolam still has an important role to play in tort cases. By considering breach of duty cases in which the Bolitho 'gloss' has been applied, attention is drawn to the potential dangers of disregarding practices within the medical profession...
July 8, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Nilamadhab Kar
Suicide rates and associated risk factors are known to change over time. The periodic evaluation of suicides in a particular locality may identify specific issues that may help in prevention efforts. The profile of 146 consecutive cases with suicide, open and narrative verdicts between January 2004 and July 2011 in Wolverhampton was studied in order to explore associated factors. Specific information about methods, mental health issues and stressors was collected. There was considerable variation in suicides in different wards of the city, with higher occurrences in inner-city areas...
July 5, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
P Voultsos, N Raikos, N Vasileiadis, Ch Spiliopoulou, B Tarlatzis
Ovarian tissue transplantation (OTT) is a promising experimental method which may soon become well-established. In cases of minor oncology, where patients' fertility is seriously threatened by treatment, it may be applied as a unique fertility preservation option. OTT has a dual nature ('organ' and 'gamete'). Many stakeholders are involved, including donor, recipient, child, health-care providers and society at large. There is considerable uncertainty about the long-term consequences of the application of OTT and OT cryopreservation (OTC)...
July 4, 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Maurice Lipsedge
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Mohammed Madadin, Dalia M Al-Saif, Amar Hassan Khamis, Attia Z Taha, Magdy A Kharoshah, Ahmed Alsayyah, Suha Alfehaid, Khalid Yaghmour, Ahmad Yahia Hakami, Manal S Bamousa, Ritesh G Menezes, Osama M Almadani
Medico-legal tasks are not exclusive to forensic medical experts -any physician may face medico-legal issues in his career. Hence, the practice of medicine requires education in legal issues. In Saudi Arabia, there are 30 universities with medical colleges, but we do not know how they teach undergraduate forensic medicine and medico-legal issues. The aim of this study was to discover undergraduate training courses in forensic medicine in Saudi universities. We conducted a cross-sectional study involving all colleges of medicine in Saudi Arabia...
July 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Enrico Muccino, Giulio Federico Giovanetti, Graziano Domenico Luigi Crudele, Guendalina Gentile, Matteo Marchesi, Alessandra Rancati, Riccardo Zoja
This article presents a case of patricide. The murder was characterised by multiple blunt traumas and asphyxia. A mass of contused wounds was localised to the head and neck, and included the complete avulsion of the left eye (by an unknown tool), which was recovered near the cadaver. This case is of interest due to the possibility of identifying microscopic traces of the object that was used for the homicide by examining the skin margins around the ocular injury. The analysis was conducted using scanning electron microscopy combined with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM/EDX)...
July 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Jayanthi Yadav, D S Badkur
Impalement injuries result when a hard elongated object penetrates the body cavity or any body part and remains in place. A rare and unusual case of impalement by a bamboo stick in the thoracic cavity through the oropharynx is described. Injury resulted when a man tried to pole-vault with a bamboo stick, which slipped and entered his mouth. Impalement injury through the natural orifice of the oropharynx is discussed, along with the mechanism of the trauma and subsequent death.
July 2016: Medicine, Science, and the Law
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