Revolution in death sciences: body farms and taphonomics blooming. A review investigating the advantages, ethical and legal aspects in a Swiss context.

Details

Ressource 1Request a copy Sous embargo jusqu'au 30/09/2021.
State: Public
Version: Author's accepted manuscript
License: Not specified
Serval ID
serval:BIB_53D3EFBD8A2C
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Publication sub-type
Review (review): journal as complete as possible of one specific subject, written based on exhaustive analyses from published work.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Revolution in death sciences: body farms and taphonomics blooming. A review investigating the advantages, ethical and legal aspects in a Swiss context.
Journal
International journal of legal medicine
Author(s)
Varlet V., Joye C., Forbes SL, Grabherr S.
ISSN
1437-1596 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0937-9827
Publication state
Published
Issued date
09/2020
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
134
Number
5
Pages
1875-1895
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article ; Review
Publication Status: ppublish
Abstract
Taphonomy is the study of decaying organisms over time and their process of fossilization. Taphonomy, originally a branch of palaeontology and anthropology, was developed to understand the ecology of a decomposition site, how site ecology changes upon the introduction of plant or animal remains and, in turn, how site ecology affects the decomposition of these materials. In recent years, these goals were incorporated by forensic science to understand the decomposition of human cadavers, to provide a basis on which to estimate postmortem and/or postburial interval, to assist in the determination of cause and circumstances of death, and to aid in the location of clandestine graves. These goals are achieved through the study of the factors that influence cadaver decomposition (e.g. temperature, moisture, insect activity). These studies have also provided insight into the belowground ecology of cadaver breakdown and allowed to develop useful protocols for mass disaster managements in humanitarian medicine. From the results obtained, new scientific disciplines have arisen, gathered under the word "taphonomics" such as the study of microorganisms living below/on a cadaver (thanatogeomicrobiology), and join the more classical forensic sciences such as anthropology, botany or entomology. Taking into account the specificities of the study object (human cadaver), primordial requirements are needed in terms of security (physical and environmental) as well as ethical and legal concerns which are studied in the Swiss context. The present review aims to present in a first part the concept of human forensic taphonomy facilities (HFTF, also colloquially named "body farm") leading to an enrichment of forensic sciences with new "taphonomics". The second part is focused on the mandatory points that must be addressed for a HFTF approach, especially because it requires a specific place to undertake this research which must be performed in conformity with a country's human ethics and laws.
Keywords
Body farms, Forensic anthropology, Human taphonomy, Swiss ethical context, Swiss legal context, Taphonomics
Pubmed
Web of science
Create date
25/05/2020 14:40
Last modification date
04/02/2021 7:25
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