Buried dead bodies do communicate truth: A Four-year exhumation-based study
Keywords:Buried dead bodies, Cause of Death, Exhumation, Head injury, Homicide, Poly-trauma
Background: The word exhumation is defined as excavating out of a buried dead body. The indication of the process of exhumation is to determine the identity of the deceased or to elucidate the cause of death or both especially when there is conflict before the law. Aims and Objectives: The purpose of the study is to know how feasible is to establish the cause of death in exhumed bodies in relation to time of burial and positive opinion regarding the cause of death in addition to other related issues. Material and Methods: The presented study was conducted over a period of 3 and half years from January 2003 to January 2006 at Gandhi Medical College, Secunderabad and include a total of 34 cases were studied. Standard methods were used for recording as well as analysis of data.Observations and inference: cause of death could be established in about 60% of exhumed bodies and opinion could not be elicited out in eleven cases. Head injury amounted to the topmost cause of death with 8
(24%) followed by asphyxia with 4(12%). Conclusion: The cause of death could be arrived at exhumation with a reasonable degree of accuracy in the early burial periods and the feasibility as to assessing cause of death will gradually decrease with increase in time since burial. It is suggested to deduce and follow standard protocol and procedures are required to increase the chances of establishing cause of death at exhumation
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