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For the average Dane death has become part of daily life. The media paints a picture of numerous violent acts, but even though we come across it on a daily basis certain aspects of death, e.g. working with the dead, are still seen as taboos.

This article is based on my internship at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Odense in February 2011 where I participated in the daily routines, and therefore had the opportunity to see how the employees relate to death and the dead.

The section “A Room of Impurities” deals with the symbolical impurity of the autopsy rooms at the Institute, since death, according to the anthropologist Mary Douglas, is a taboo and therefore something symbolically impure. In the section “Subjects or Objects?” another aspect of working with the dead is presented. The employees at the Institute have an ability to see the dead as both subjects and objects and to switch between these. The dead body as an object can equally be seen as something impure. The last section “A Part of Human Life” compares the taboo surrounding the Institute of Forensic Medicine with the view upon death in Tibet, and concludes on the manuscript.


The relationship between the second and the fourth digit in the human hand, the 2D:4D index, is considered a putative marker of exposure to prenatal testosterone. Much research has been done in the attempt to associate the 2D:4D index and physical characteristics as well as cognitive skills and behavioral patterns. It has been suggested that these characteristics and behavioral patterns may be linked to high levels of testosterone. The basis for considering the 2D:4D index a marker of prenatal exposure to testosterone, and the influence of prenatal and circulating testosterone on behavior are reviewed. Furthermore, it is discussed whether forensic medicine may benefit from identification of a marker of behavioral predispositions. It seems that it is not possible to derive any valid information on predispositions from finger length ratio, however the field of 2D:4D research might benefit from forensic studies.

References 1. Stark MM, Norfolk GA: Training of assistant forensic medical examiners in London, UK. J Forensic Leg Med 2010, 17:194-197 2. Stark MM, Norfolk GA: Training in clinical forensic medicine in the UK--perceptions of current regulatory standards. J Forensic Leg Med 2011,18:264-275 3. Mavroforou A, Michalodimitrakis E: Forensic pathology on the threshold of the 21st century and the need for harmonization of current practice and training: The greek concept. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2002, 23:19-25 4. Jargin SV: Legal regulations of pathology in


The study is a statistical analysis of the dynamics and structure of forensic autopsies performed on dead bodies and body remains at University Hospital “Dr. Georgi Stranski” in Pleven. The study was based on forensic autopsy records database and forensic autopsy reports for the period 2009-2013. A total of 976 cases, including forensic autopsies, exhumations, examination of bone remains and inspection of dead bodies at the site of death (without following forensic autopsy), were analyzed. The studied data was coded and processed with Microsoft Excel software. A detailed data analysis of the number of autopsies, frequency of death by cause, distribution of death by gender, age, residence, place of death and its forensic category is presented. According to our results, the deaths due to diseases comprised 35% of all forensic autopsies. The most common cause of violent death was damage by mechanical factors (53%), followed by asphyxia (24.7%). The most common mechanical factor was vehicle crash trauma, followed by falling (22.5%). Accidents were the most common cause of death 62%, followed by suicides (31 %) and homicides 7%. Fifty-nine percent of the suicides were by hanging. The preliminary analyses of the studied data lead to several conclusions. The number of forensic autopsies was found to be progressively decreasing, but the road traffic death rate remained unchanged. Most of the forensic autopsies were performed in July. The highest death rates by age was observed in the age group between 51 and 60 years, with predominance of males over females (3.3 males: 1 females).

REFERENCES [1] Lynnerup N., Vedel J. Person identification by gait analysis and photogrammetry. J. Forensic Sci., 2005, 50(1), 112–118. [2] Larsen P.K., Simonsen E.B., Lynnerup N. Gait analysis in forensic medicine. J. Forensic Sci., 2008, 53(5), 1149–1153. [3] Gibelli D., Obertova Z., Ritz-Timme S., Gabriel P., Arent T., Ratnayake M., et al. The identification of living persons on images: A literature review. Leg Med (Tokyo), 2016, 19, 5260. [4] Porter G., Doran G. An anatomical and photographic technique for forensic facial identification. Forensic Sci. Int


The purpose of this study was to examine the demographic circumstances and the autopsy findings regarding drowning deaths autopsied at the Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Aarhus. The study is based on autopsy reports from the Department of Forensic Medicine in Aarhus, 2006-2015 with drowning as a cause of death. Among the 135 cases of the study, 87 (64.4%) were accidents versus 33 (24.4%) suicides. The study showed, that the majority of the drowned 73,3% were males, especially pronounced in the accidents (81.6% were males). In 60.7% victims, there was a positive blood alcohol analysis, most often in males. Females with positive alcohol analyses did however have the highest mean alcohol blood level (1.65 versus 1.47 per mile). The most frequent place of the submersions was docks (24.4%) and the most frequent time of day was in the evening (18.00 – 23.59; 19.3%) and at night (00.00 – 05.59; 20.0%). The study shows no significant connection between adipocere and type of water (OR=1.21, 95% CI (0.49;2.99), p=0.68), bulging lungs and type of water (OR=1.18, 95% CI (0.52;2.70), p=0.69), lung weight and type of water (z-test, p=0.38) and the amount of pleural effusion and water type (z-test, p=0.16). A significant connection between the presence of pleural effusion and type of water cannot discounted (OR=2.37, 95% CI (1.06;2.44), p=0.02).

References 1. Penning R. Rechtsmedizin systematisch. UNI-MED Verlag AG, Bremen- London-Boston, 2006, 74-75. 2. Pollak S. Klinische Rechtsmedizin und forensisch-klinische Untersuchungen. In: Madea B (ed) Praxis Rechtsmedizin. Befunderhebung, Rekonstruktion, Begutachtung. Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg, 2006, 292 3. Sótonyi P. Igazságügyi Orvostan. Semmelweis, Bp, Budapest, 1996, 57 4. Administrative regulation Nr. 16 of the Hungarian Institute of Forensic Medicine to the Health Care Act of 1997.

-2000 investigated at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Vienna. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2011;123(17-18):526-530. [ 11] Sørensen B, Lynnerup N. Fatal outcome after unintended events following medical intervention: a forensic pathological case survey. Research and Reports in Forensic Medical Science. 2014;4:11-17. [ 12] Brennan TA, Leape LL, Laird NM, et al. Incidence of adverse events and negligence in hospitalized patients: results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study I. 1991. Qual Saf Health Care. 2004;13(2):145-151; discussion 151-142. [ 13] Hayward RA, Hofer TP. Estimating


Introduction: Suicide by ligature strangulation has been rarely reported in literature. This case report was prepared to present this different method of suicide and to discuss the findings of this case in the framework of findings in literature.

Case: A 37-year old male was found dead in his home where he lived alone, with no signs of forced entry to the house. The body was lying supine on the dining table, with the feet hanging free and the head completely resting on the table. A thick, orange-coloured rope was wrapped three times around the neck and below the table where the head was resting was a 20kg demijohn full of water, with a broken rope with the same features wrapped around the neck of the bottle.

Discussion and Conclusion: The current case is unique in respect of showing the postmortem findings which could be created following the application of pressure with a force of 20kg on the airway and blood vessels. The necessity is emphasised for detailed examination of the scene to differentiate suicide from murder and of information from before death and from the autopsy to correctly establish the cause of death.

Drug Analysis in Necrophagous Flies and Human Tissues

Necrophagous insects may provide useful information about the time, place and cause of death. In addition, they can serve as reliable alternative specimens for toxicological analysis in cases where human tissue and fluids, normally taken during autopsies, are not available, due to decomposition of the corpse. This paper reports the results of drug analysis of the larvae of two fly families, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, collected from the body of a middle-aged man who had committed suicide approximately three weeks before his corpse was found. Multiple samples of decomposed human tissue, of the blowfly, and of the larval flesh were analysed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), and amphetamine was detected in all samples. While the screening results were beyond doubt, the quantitative analysis was less clear, and further research is needed in this area.