Neglect of the elderly: forensic entomology cases and considerations

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Source: Forensic Science International 146 Suppl 1:195-199

Neglect of the elderly: forensic entomology cases and considerations

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BY M. BENECKE 1; E. JOSEPHI 2 and R. ZWEIHOFF 2

1 International Forensic Research & Consulting, Postfach 250411, 50520 Cologne, Germany, E-mail forensic@benecke.com
2 Institute for Legal Medicine, City of Dortmund, Bünnerhelfstraße 31, 44379 Dortmund, Germany

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Abstract

Wounds of living persons are a potential target for the same flies that live, or feed early on corpses. This can lead to complications in estimation of PMI but also allows to determine additional information that might be valuable in a trial, or during the investigations [e.g., M. Benecke, R. Lessig, Child neglect and forensic entomology, Forensic Sci. Int. 120 (2001) 155-159]. With forensic entomology, and forensic entomologists being more and more present, even lower profile cases like the neglect of elderly people (without violence being used against them; i.e., natural death) comes to our attention.


Furthermore, much more people grow older than in the past years which leads to increased awareness of malpractice of caregivers in the professional, and personal environment [DPA (German Press Agency), Studie an 17000 Leichen: Jeder Siebte vor Tod falsch gepflegt (Every seventh elderly person not cared for sufficiently), German Press Agency dpa # 051402, Jan 3, Jan 5, 2003] . We briefly sketch three cases in which forensic entomology helped to better understand the circumstances of death, and the type and intensity of neglect before death.


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Dr. rer. medic. Mark Benecke · Diplombiologe (verliehen in Deutschland) · Öffentlich bestellter und vereidigter Sachverständiger für kriminaltechnische Sicherung, Untersuchung u. Auswertung von biologischen Spuren (IHK Köln) · Landsberg-Str. 16, 50678 Köln, Deutschland, E-Mail: forensic@benecke.com · www.benecke.com · Umsatzsteueridentifikationsnummer: ID: DE212749258 · Aufsichtsbehörde: Industrie- und Handelskammer zu Köln, Unter Sachsenhausen 10-26, 50667 Köln, Deutschland · Fallbearbeitung und Termine nur auf echtem Papier. Absprachen per E-mail sind nur vorläufige Gedanken und nicht bindend. 🌏 Mark Benecke, M. Sc., Ph.D. · Certified & Sworn In Forensic Biologist · International Forensic Research & Consulting · Postfach 250411 · 50520 Cologne · Germany · Emergencies: Text / SMS / text messages only (never call me): +49 171 177 1273 · Anonymous calls & suppressed numbers will never be answered. · Dies ist eine Notfall-Nummer nur für SMS in aktuellen, kriminalistischen Notfällen). Bitte rufen Sie niemals an. · If it is not a real emergency, send an e-mail, pls. · If it is an emergency, send a text message (SMS) · Facebook Fan Site · Benecke Homepage · Datenschutz-Erklärung · Impressum · Archive Page