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An Analysis of Medico-Legal Autopsies Alleged to be Homicide: A Study from the Northern Province of Sri Lanka

Authors:

U. Mayorathan ,

Teaching Hospital Jaffna, LK
About U.
Office of the Judicial Medical Officer
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S. Pranavan,

Teaching Hospital Jaffna, LK
About S.
Office of the Judicial Medical Officer
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J. S. Anne Niroshini,

University of Jaffna, LK
About J. S. Anne
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine
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M. Moganalukshan,

University of Jaffna, LK
About M.
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine
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A. M. Jiffry

University of Jaffna, LK
About A. M.
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Abstract Introduction: Homicide, killing one person by another, is considered the most devastating violence. Legally homicide can be either murder or culpable homicide, where the difference lies in the degree of knowledge and intention. Objective: To describe the demographic features and medico-legal significance of the injury and to evaluate the social background of the victims of homicide. Methodology: A retrospective descriptive study based on a postmortem report was carried out on all the cases examined at the JMO office, Jaffna, from June 2014 to June 2022. The data were analyzed using SPSS statistical package. Results: Among 105 postmortem examinations alleged to be homicides, 77.1% of deaths were recorded in the Jaffna district, while 22.9% were recorded outside the Jaffna district. There was a male predominance (62.9%) with a male-to-female ratio of 7:4. The commonest weapon or force used in homicide was blunt (51.4%), while sharp was the second highest (32.4%). Cut and laceration were the nature of injury for 25.7% and 21.9% of homicides, respectively. Consequences of craniocerebral injury (32.4%) were the major cause of death, while head and neck regions were commonly involved in 38.2% and 24.5%, respectively. Regarding the nature of the injury, burn injuries (90%), mechanical airway obstruction (77.8%), and lack of breathable air (100%) showed female preponderance (p value<0.05). In contrast, cut injury (61.5%), laceration (78.3%), stab injury (100%), and firearm injury (100%) were predominantly seen in the male population. Considering the cause of death, consequences of cranial-cerebral injury (79.4%) were commonly seen in the male gender (p<0.05), and asphyxia-related deaths (85.7%) were more in the female gender(p<0.05). Conclusion: The nature of the injury and the cause of death in homicides had a significant relationship with the gender of victims.
How to Cite: Mayorathan, U., Pranavan, S., Niroshini, J.S.A., Moganalukshan, M. and Jiffry, A.M., 2022. An Analysis of Medico-Legal Autopsies Alleged to be Homicide: A Study from the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 10(2), pp.1–6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v10i2.7467
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Published on 31 Dec 2022.
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