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Medico legal issues in necrophilia and other related matters


H. T. D. W. Ariyarathna

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, LK
About H. T. D. W.
Senior lecturer, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Introduction: Necrophilia is an area that is not much discussed in our country. It may prevent the required thinking on this regard during the medico legal examination and in other practical issues. As such necrophilia is a topic about which a comprehensive understanding is essential not to miss any related issues.

Objectives: Post mortem injuries or effects which had been added after death which raise totally different medico legal issues during the investigation. Had the pathologist not suspected about necrophilic action, he would not have examined the oral and anogenital regions specifically. In such a situation, the possibility of necrophilic acts may go unnoticed. Additionally the views of the public that the necrophilic acts could secretly occur at the hands of funeral directors should be considered, as the public is rather confused or do not expect happening of such disgraceful acts.

Discussion: Unless there is a list of well foreseen medico legal issues, the procedure of the post mortem does not aim into certain possibilities. The same applies in the context of sample collection. As the necrophilia is a rare occurrence, the routine medico-legal examination may pass necrophilic actions unnoticed unless they are objectively investigated.

Conclusion: The possibility of necrophilic actions always should be excluded in homicidal dead bodies when it is indicated by the examining pathologist. The possible necrophilic acts that could occur at the hands of funeral directors should also not be overlooked. Making amendments to the Sri Lankan law should be considered to encompass this offence.
How to Cite: Ariyarathna, H.T.D.W., 2016. Medico legal issues in necrophilia and other related matters. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 3(2), pp.16–19. DOI:
Published on 21 Sep 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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