VME6934 Special Topics in Forensic Toxicology

Added on - Apr 2020

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Running head: METHODS OF IDENTIFYING DISEASED AND PROBLEMSENCOUNTERED 1Methods of Identifying Diseased and Problems Encountered In Body IdentificationNameInstitution
METHODS OF IDENTIFYING DISEASED AND PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED2Q1: Dr. JonesThis was a case of a single known person. This presents no problem because the identityof Dr. Jones is known by his wife. The only concern is to provide formal confirmation of thefact. Thus, the visual identification by persons who knew the diseased alive in this case, Dr.Jones wife will be used. Dr. Jones would be identified by the visual confirmation. This would bethe simplest and quickest way as Dr. Jones’ wife knows her husband. Moreover, they weretogether at the point of her husband’s death. However, the problem of visual identification is thatit is only dependent on an eyewitness. Identification is never exact science and hence affected bydistress of having to identify a loved-one at a traumatic moment.Q2:The identification here focuses on collision between a high speed train (multipleunknown individuals) and a bus carrying old pensioners (multiple known individuals) from localcare home, who were on a day trip. This incidence is a case of multiple known and unknownindividuals. The multiple known individuals are the old pensioners from the bus whereas theunknowns are the people on the train. For multiple known individuals, the principle ofidentification of single bodies apply to the multiple victims’ identification. However, the medicaland scientific task of identifying the bodies emerge.The possibility of errors must be minimized thus the need for coordinated and organizedteamwork. For the multiple knowns in the bus, the task is to match the remains with theindividuals on the list in the bus. For the multiple unknown individuals, train does not maintainlist of persons travelling. The train also doesn’t maintain checks as to whether those on board arereally travelling. Train doesn’t check whether reservations are made based on assumed names.Thus initially, the identities of these people in train are unknown, but it is expected that
METHODS OF IDENTIFYING DISEASED AND PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED3ultimately these people are reported missing and added to possible list of casualties. The mainproblem here is that some victims in the bus might have been unknown in case there was no list.Q3:Ms. Joger’s case is of a single unknown partially decomposed person. The personwas dressed in T-shirt and Jeans. His rare pocket had a piece of paper with indecipherablewriting. The belt was undone and he was wearing gold-colored bracelet. In this circumstance,there was no evidence of identity whatsoever. Thus this body falls within the possible identitieslimited to the “missing persons of who is not known whether they are dead or alive”. Foridentification to take place, the list of possible identities must be reduced to one based on the listof missing persons and reduced further. Because age is unknown in this case, age has to bedetermined. Being that the body is partially decomposed and hence not intact, age determinationis never straightforward in this case hence a problem (Schmidt & Symes, 2015). Age will thusbe determined via skeletal remains. The problem, however, is that in ageing adults’ skeletonwhose epiphyses have fused, via degenerative alterations in borne, might indicate old age.The pathologist or anthropologist can be used in this case through forensic investigationteam. This will use the secondary characteristics of the diseased. In this case, they will use theeyes, teeth, hair, scars and external peculiarities, fingerprints, medical conditions, treatment anddeformities, clothing (T-shirt and Jeans) and personal effects (golden bracelet). The fingerprintsmay be rehydrated and tested. Fingerprints will then be matched with those of police records-where identity is suspected. The clothing and personal effects can also help in suggesting orconfirming the identity. However, the problem arise as these items can be transferred from aperson to another hence giving a wrong identity. DNA can as well be used here. The DNAsequence comparison between a deceased’s DNA sample and DNA samples recorded frompolice database can used. The comparison can also use DNA known sample from suspected
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