Tag: medical negligence

Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
Sex determination is one of the key components for establishing the individual’s identity in forensic anthropology casework. It is a known fact that anthropometric assessment can have population-specific variations. The present autopsy study was conducted on the sterna of 102 cadavers (52 males and 50 females) of age more than 25 years at a tertiary care centre in Central India. Anthropometric measurements included the length of the manubrium (M), mesosternum (B) and combined length of manubrium and mesosternum (CL). Applicability of Hyrtl’s law, Ashley’s rule and the sternal index were also assessed for sex determination. A statistically significant correlation (p  0.05), and the difference between the means of the ratio of the body with manubrium in males and females for Hyrtl’s law is also not found to be statistically significant (p > 0.05). It is concluded that the length of the body and the combined length of manubrium and mesosternum are valuable criteria for sexing the sternum in an adult population of Central India. The sternum can be useful for sex determination, particularly when bones like skull, pelvis, or long bones are not available or fragmented.

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Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
This article examines the standard of proof for unlawful killing in coronial proceedings. Historically, the criminal standard of proof governed inquest findings of unlawful killing. In R (Maughan) v Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire, the Supreme Court resolved the important question of whether the criminal or civil standard governed inquest conclusions of unlawful killing. The court concluded that the correct standard of proof for all conclusions in coronial proceedings is the balance of probabilities. This article argues that whilst preserving differing standards of proof in coronial proceedings was no longer defensible and Maughan has provided welcome clarity, unanswered questions remain concerning the implementation of this fundamental change.

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Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
In 1877 Harriet Staunton died in Penge, Kent, and four members of her family were convicted of her murder by malicious starvation. The defence attempted to show that she had died from tuberculous meningitis, but reappraisal of the evidence leads to the conclusion that she died from tuberculous Addison’s disease and that the defendants were wrongly convicted.

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Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
Complicated suicides can be defined as incidents where death is caused by a subsequent trauma rather than the primary injury. Deaths which occur as a complication of the suicidal act are very rare with few reports in the literature. We present the case of a 60-year-old man who was found at his home while still alive. His body was burning and he was lying on his back impaled by shards of glass that had come from a broken glass door. An ambulance was called but the man died before arrival at hospital. The autopsy showed stab heart and lung injuries in thorax and an abdominal stab trauma which resulted in the protrusion of the small intestine. Homicide was excluded and the sequence of events was reconstructed to reveal a complicated suicide intended to result from self-immolation but which resulted in a fall against a glass door which in turn resulted in shards of glass piercing his body and a fatal stab wound to the heart.

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Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
Julian Assange is wanted by the United States so it can prosecute him for espionage and hacking. His extradition was barred on mental health grounds. That decision has been overturned. The English High Court has accepted US assurances detailing how he will be treated if transferred. Assange is seeking to appeal to the UK Supreme Court. Mental health-related issues have played a central role in his case to date, and look to continue to do so. The specific timing and effect of assurances are central to the present litigation. The Supreme Court will imminently decide on the next stage in Assange’s fight against extradition.

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Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
This study reviews autopsies performed by the Legal Medicine department of the University of Milan from 1990 to 2018. In particular, the characteristics of the perpetrator, the victim and the type of existing relationship, the means used, and the place and time of the crime. A retrospective analysis was conducted, extracting data from the Milan Institute of Legal Medicine database, selecting cases of murder-suicide from the archive between 1990 and 2018 (a total of 75 cases with 84 murder victims). Available data was processed statistically. Univariate and bivariate analysis techniques were mainly used. Significance tests (Chi-square) and correlation studies (Pearson’s R) were also conducted, the results of which were then examined and discussed in light of legal, medical and criminological expertise.In almost all cases, suicide followed immediately after the murder, at home and in the context of an emotional relationship. The murderer and person committing suicide is almost always male and the victim female. A firearm was the most common weapon in cases of both murder and suicide.The results indicate that the issue of gender is relevant in murder-suicides as indicated by international and national literature on homicides. Furthermore, the use of firearms endorses the importance of limiting their availability through more restrictive laws.

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Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
An Air India Express Flight AI1344 travelling from Dubai to Calicut (Kozhikode), when attempting to land, unfortunately, overshot the runway and crashed causing many casualties as the impact caused the aircraft to break up into multiple pieces. The response to a disaster, specifically an aviation disaster, is highly complex. It involves multiple government agencies and calls for a truly inter/multidisciplinary response from diverse domains including forensic experts, fire experts, aeronautical engineers, humanitarian experts who must together form an ideal post-rescue recovery team. The author was intricately involved in the recovery mission launched after the above air disaster. This case study considers the process of collecting and managing the personal effects of those affected along with the various challenges involved.

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