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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
Jack Garland, Rexson Tse
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 19, 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
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
Matthew Loughran
There has been a significant increase in the use of section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England and Wales, particularly over the past 10 years, but the reasons for this increase remain unclear. This paper presents a history of English mental-health legislation and the current evidence relating to the use of section 136. It suggests that changing police attitudes, socio-economic factors and diminished resources amongst both the police and mental-health services may have contributed towards its increase...
October 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
George A Johnson, Philip Smith, Jamie Robinson, Sallyanne A Collis, Christopher Paul Johnson
Pathologists providing a coronial autopsy service are very reliant on the information, including that concerning the body at the scene, provided prior to the post-mortem examination. This ensures the case is appropriate for a non-forensic autopsy and allows proper interpretation of the pathological and laboratory findings. We present the results of an audit of the extent and accuracy of the information provided (in terms of a set of descriptors), in relation to the body at the scene; whether just the information on the coronial autopsy request form 97a is used, or if it is supplemented with details from the police form 97 and statements from attending officers and scene witnesses...
July 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Mohit Chauhan, Chittaranjan Behera, Sreenivas Madireddi, Shramana Mandal, Sunil Kumar Khanna
Pulmonary metastasis is a well-known complication of an invasive mole. However, sudden death due to haemoptysis resulting from a metastatic invasive mole is extremely rare. We report the sudden unexpected death of an 18-year-old primigravida following a molar pregnancy. The death event was complicated within a few days of presentation by a clinically unsuspected mole invading the lung vasculature with associated widespread metastatic calcifications in the liver and brain. Death was due to haemorrhagic shock as a result of massive haemoptysis resulting from the invasive mole metastasising to the pulmonary vasculature...
July 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Banwari L Meel
Background Deaths as a result of burns are unrecognised, under-reported and therefore under-estimated, especially in rural areas such as the Transkei subregion of South Africa. Burning to death is painful and preventable. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate a 20-year trend in deaths as a result of burns in the Transkei subregion of South Africa. Method A record review descriptive study was undertaken of all medico-legal autopsies performed from 1996 to 2015 at Mthatha Forensic Pathology Laboratory...
July 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Christopher Bass, Gregory Yates
Objective The aim of this study was to review demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (CRPS) seen in a UK medico-legal setting - particularly the relationship between CRPS and somatoform disorders. Methods Fifty consecutive cases of CRPS (interviewed 2005-2016) undergoing psychiatric assessment were reviewed. A systematic assessment of mental states was conducted via interview and examination of medical/psychiatric records. Thirty patients also completed the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ)...
July 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
Alec Samuels
The brief history of causation in medicine and science. The law. Setting the scene. Negligence but no causation. Duty to warn. PROGNOSIS: Loss of opportunity. Consecutive negligence. Indivisible injury. Unknown culprits. Obstetrics. The European Court of Justice. The future.
July 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
John D Gilbert, Roger W Byard
A 52-year-old man died soon after admission to hospital with a severe metabolic acidosis and likely sepsis. He had a past history of alcohol abuse with withdrawal seizures. An abdominal computed tomography scan showed thickened bowel loops but no obvious ischaemic changes, and a blood culture yielded a pure growth of Escherichia coli. At autopsy, the liver showed well-established micro-nodular cirrhosis with steatosis. The peritoneal cavity contained 200 mL of turbid yellow-brown fluid, and the caecum and ascending colon were unusually thickened...
July 2018: Medicine, Science, and the Law
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