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How Medical Forensics Can Help in Crime Investigation

Jan 23, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jan 23, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

A forensic medical expert who is also the treating doctor of the victim was asked by the Police to help provide forensic evidence that would help seize a criminal gang that is committing crimes in the city. The police also need the evidence to understand the sequence of events to identify potential suspects. On examination of the scene, there is a clear pattern of events. Blood stains disarranged furniture the rear gate of the residence is broken and might have been the source of entrance for the kidnappers.

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The patient is still admitted at St Mary’s Orthopaedics after disappearing for two nights. She arrived home on Thursday evening, but later disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Her husband reported her missing that evening after he came home and found the house broken into and ransacked by unknown people. None of the neighbours was at home when the incident took place. The people who took her asked for a ransom in exchange for her. The kidnappers later abandoned her within the outskirts of the city in a warehouse. The owner of the warehouse found her and called the paramedics who treated her and rushed her to St Mary’s Orthopaedics. I was the doctor on duty and received the patient while she was still unconscious. I examined her; she looked pale and tired. The unconsciousness was because of lack of water and food. Her arms and legs were bruised and bleeding. The nurse in charge dressed them, and we placed her on the drip. The patient woke up after 5 hours. When she woke up, the patient did not recognize where she was and looked frightened. Luckily, enough her family was around and kept her under control as they explained to her what had happened. I asked the patient how she felt; she said that her lower back was painful and hurt. The patient underwent x-ray for the cervical spine, the lumbar spine, and the lower extremities tests.

The patient denied any previous serious medical conditions or surgery. She also denied previous kidnapping injuries or incidences. The patient takes no medication other than Aspirin for minor headaches that are not associated with the kidnapping incident. At the time of the incident, the patient claims to have been walking home from work. She is a kindergarten teacher. The patients spent most of her time with her students and her family.

The medical results of the patient revealed the following. The patient showed signs of depression and trauma. The patient, for instance, did not recognize the hospital environment when she woke up. Also, scientific examinations revealed that ten strands of hair were discovered which matched the suspect’s hair. This means that there is a 70% probability that the suspect kidnapped the patient. The finding of 10 matching fibre’s in the head hairs combings of the suspect of the balaclava found at the kidnapping scene provides moderate prepositions that it was the suspect, rather than some other man who wore the balaclava and kidnapped the victim.

The Medical examination was as follows. The physical exam revealed that the patient is, Age: 25, Height: 5’5”, Weight: 150lbs., Eyes: Blue, Hair: Black, right-hand dominant female. On physical examination today, the patient was very alert and cooperative. The communication skills, recent memory, insight, and judgment are well within the normal limits. The patient has can follow instructions of the test well. The objective of the test is related to the injuries as follows.

The Cervical Spine x-ray revealed normal lordosis. The cervical was examined using a normal soft touch and no strain on the muscle was noted. The cervical compression testing is, therefore, negative. The range of motion of the cervical spine is 45 degrees normal and a right rotation of 70 degrees normal. The left rotation is normal, and the right flexion is 45 degrees normal. The Neurological examination shows that the muscle strength is normal. There is also no radiation of pain and paralysis on all limbs and the spine. In the lumbar spine, there is no a spasm or tenderness over the Para spinal musculature. She can raise her leg up to 80 degrees on both sides in seated positions.

The lower extremities tests showed that there is no atrophy noted in the muscles of, the lower extremities. Muscle strength is graded five positively bilaterally. The patients vibrations, sensation and response to touch are normal. The hip none is still intact and not painful. The patient can perform knee reflex without any difficulties.

Later, the medical records of the patients were assessed to understand at the patients’ medical history. The total hospital bill for all the test carried on the patient was reviewed. Also, the ambulance report assessment from the accident scene paramedics was reviewed and is dated 10 March 2014. The X-rays taken at St Mary’s Hospital of the cervical spine on 12 March 2014 were reviewed and degenerative changes with narrowing at the C5-6 concluded to be normal. The X-ray of the lumbar spine taken on 13 March 2014 was reviewed and concludes to be normal. Notes of treatment of the patient from doctor Marshal of St Mary’s Orthopaedics were reviewed. The narrative report from Doctor Pete was also reviewed and updated. The general medical diagnosis resolved was sprain and strain of the cervical spine and the lumbar spine.

The patient’s disability and treatment report is as follows. The patient is not disabled in any because of the kidnapping. However, she is traumatized and requires several counselling sessions. The counselling sessions would take a period of not less than six months. The patient has already been discharged but has not yet resumed her daily teaching occupation. There is certainty that the patient will continue with her daily activities as she has always had without interruption after undergoing counselling. There is therefore, the need for the patient to undergo thorough counselling under qualified psychologists for her to resume her job. Further medical testing is not necessary since the patient is physical well.

In conclusion therefore, Forensic medical experts are from time to time called upon to provide litigation support services. In a criminal case, the role of the forensic medical expert is to examine the patient relevant to the case, summarize and explain the patients’ medical history to the judge, the attorneys, and the defendants. They also offer testimony in court. The findings must be presented in a well-written report that is reviewed by the opposing parties in the case and the hearing judge. The expert witness therefore, provides the grounds for pre-trial settlements negotiations and in court testimony where the case goes to trial. The strengths of the expert report of lack of strengths automatically influence the defendants’ decision to settle the matter out of court. Therefore, the report is important for the successful resolution of the dispute.

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