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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98637 Find in a Library
Title: Role of the Forensic Pathologist in the Investigation of Child Abuse Deaths (From Child Abuse, P 193-214, 1984, A Carmi and H Zimrin, ed.)
Author(s): J E Holloway; T T Noguchi
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After presenting and discussing 16 cases of child homicide in California, this chapter considers the clinical criteria of child abuse, autopsy criteria of child abuse, and the forensic pathologist as a factual and expert witness.
Abstract: The introduction presents 1978 California statistics on reported cases of child abuse and homicide, and it summarizes California law pertaining to child abuse. The 16 case reports are from homicides of 24 children under 10 years old confirmed as due to physical child abuse in fiscal 1978. The case reports present the circumstances of the homicide and its reporting, the autopsy findings, and the case disposition. The discussion of the case reports focuses on the family status of the victims and adults involved, siblings, victims' age distribution, victims' growth and development, trauma categories, the survival time after the infliction of fatal trauma, and alleged versus substantiated trauma sources. Suspect apprehension and legal dispositions are also analyzed. The discussion of the clinical criteria of child abuse considers criteria to be noted by social workers, attending physicians, radiologists, police, and attorneys involved in the case. The section on the autopsy criteria of child abuse describes examination procedures and the wording of the death certificate. Advice for forensic pathologists in their role as factual and expert witness encompasses the pretrial conference and the evidence that should be provided by the pathologist at trial. Five references are listed.
Index Term(s): Autopsy; California; Case studies; Child abuse investigations; Expert witnesses; Forensic pathology; Homicide
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