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Cuadernos de Medicina Forense

versión On-line ISSN 1988-611Xversión impresa ISSN 1135-7606


PALOMO RANDO, J.L.; RAMOS MEDINA, V.  y  SANTOS AMAYA, I.M.. Death in custody. Cuad. med. forense [online]. 2004, n.35, pp.37-50. ISSN 1988-611X.

The deaths of people who find themselves deprived of liberty, for example, prisoners (inmates in prison), people who have been arrested, involuntary patients in psychiatric institutions, known in legal medical English publications as "Deaths in Custody" have been the focus of a lot of publications and special chapters in forensic medicine books and journals in the last few years. Our proposal in the Spanish language is the expression Death in a Freedom deprived state. We also propose the promulgation of a Law to perform compulsory autopsy and judiciary investigation in all these cases. These autopsies are among the most difficult and contentious deaths for a forensic pathologist to investigate. The current information about this problem in Spain is incomplete. We analyse the most frequent causes of these type of deaths, especially agitated delirium, and make some suggestions aimed at their prevention and a better knowledge of the same. Also we review the medico-legal publications about torture, the methods used, and international protocols on its effective prevention and investigation, bothin living persons as well as in corpses (Minnesota and Istanbul Protocols).

Palabras clave : Deaths in Custody; Freedom Deprivation State; Autopsy; Abuse drugs; Agitated Delirium; Torture.

        · resumen en Español     · texto en Español     · Español ( pdf )


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