Academic Forensic Pathology

The Official Publication of the National Association of Medical Examiners

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Title: Clinical Examination and Reporting of a Victim of Torture
Author(s): Herath Jayantha C.Pollanen Michael S.
Citation: Acad Forensic Pathol. 2017 Aug; 7(3):330-339.
Type: Invited Review
Keywords: Forensic pathology Torture Clinical forensic medicine Scars Physical torture After effects of torture
Abstract: Torture is the most inhuman form of punishment. Forensic practitioners should be aware of the common forms of torture, their presentation, and the after effects. Forensic practitioners should examine victims and issue an impartial report to serve mankind in accordance with the United Nations organization. Clinical forensic medicine is the application of medical knowledge for the assessment of injuries in living persons for the purposes of administering justice. Unfortunately, the forensic examination of living individuals is a comparatively neglected field of forensic practice in some countries. In this article, common presentations of torture in the clinical forensic medicine setting are discussed, with special attention to physical forms of torture, common presentations, after effects of torture, and recognizing the difficulties encountered by refugee claims of torture victims. We also describe how to examine and report a victim of torture in clinical forensic medicine. It is a known fact that some of the refugee claimants who come before the refugee claim board have been subjected to torture. They are walking reminders of the worst ways people can treat to fellow human beings. It is sad to see some doctors still participate or collaborate with perpetrators and at the same time there are some reported cases of physicians being imprisoned due to reporting of torture victims in certain countries.
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