|Title:||Child homicide victims in forensic autopsy in Taiwan: A 10-year retrospective study||Authors:||Hwa, Hsiao-Lin
Lee, James Chun-I.
|Keywords:||Child homicide;Forensic autopsy;Child abuse;Filicide-suicide;Cause of death||Issue Date:||2015||Source:||Forensic Science International||Start page/Pages:||413-419||Abstract:||
Background: Child homicides are critical medico-legal issues worldwide. Data on the characteristics of these cases in Asia are limited. This study aimed to describe the characteristics of child homicides in Taiwan.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of forensic autopsy records of child homicide victims (aged 0-17 years) in Taiwan, during a 10-year period between 2001 and 2010, was carried out. The age, sex, relationship with the perpetrator(s), injury patterns of the victims, and causes of death were analyzed.
Results: In all, 193 child homicide autopsies were identified. There were 38 (19.7%), 82 (42.5%), 25 (13.0%), and 48 (24.9%) homicide victims aged under 1, 1-5, 6-12, and 13-17 years, respectively. One-hundred boys (mean age: 8.4 +/- 7.0) and 93 girls (mean age: 3.7 +/- 4.3) were included. A female predominance was noted among the victims aged 0-5. Blunt force (53.4%) was the most frequent method of injury, followed by suffocation/strangulation (20.2%) and sharp force (13.0%). Bruise (64.8%) and brain injury (45.1%) were the most common types of injuries. The cranium (62.2%) and face (60.6%) were the most frequently injured body regions. The distribution of fatal injuries varied among victims in different age groups. Neurogenic shock, asphyxia, and hemorrhagic shocks were most common in victims aged 0-5, 6-12, and 13-17, respectively. The most frequent causes of death included blunt force head injury (40.4%), suffocation/strangulation (20.2%), and sharp force lung trauma (7.3%). The type of offenders, injury methods, types of injuries, distribution of injuries, mechanism of death, and causes of death were significantly different among victims of different age groups. Eighteen (9.33%) victims displayed no external evidence of trauma.
Conclusions: The patterns of injuries, mechanism of death, and causes of death were different among victims of different age groups. A female predominance was noted among the victims aged 0-5. Complete forensic autopsy is necessary to identify child homicide. This report will help forensic examiners and forensic pathologists recognize the signs of child homicide and serve as a working basis for these professionals. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Appears in Collections:||法醫學研究所|
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