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Disaster victim identification operations with fragmented burnt or commingled remains: experienced based recommendations

de Boer, HH, Roberts, J, Delabarde, T, Mundorff, AZ and Blau, S (2020) Disaster victim identification operations with fragmented burnt or commingled remains: experienced based recommendations. Forensic Sciences Research. ISSN 2096-1790

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Abstract

Human-made and natural disasters can result in severely fragmented, compromised, and commingled human remains. The related disaster victim identification (DVI) operations are invariably challenging, with the state of the remains potentially precluding some identifications. Practitioners involved in these DVI operations will routinely face logistical, practical, and ethical challenges. This review provides information and guidance derived from first-hand experiences to individuals tasked with managing DVI operations with fragmented human remains. We outline several key issues that should be addressed during disaster preparedness planning and at the outset of an operation, when incident-specific strategies are developed. Specific challenges during recovery and examination of fragmented remains are addressed, highlighting the importance of experienced specialists at the scene and in the mortuary. DNA sample selection and sampling techniques are reviewed, as well as downstream effects of commingling and contamination, which can complicate reconciliation and emphasise the need for rigorous quality control. We also touch on issues that may arise during communication with families. While recommendations are provided, they are not intended as proscriptive policy but rather as an addition to the general recommendations given in the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) DVI Guide, to inform preparative discussions between government officials, judiciary, police, and forensic specialists.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 27 May 2020 09:49
Last Modified: 27 May 2020 10:00
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/20961790.2020.1751385
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13011

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