forensic practitioners have been reviewing or developing their best practices, especially with regard to methods used in evidence testing. Standardization of reports and terminology, although recommended in the NAS Report, has been less of a focus to date.
Subsequently, the National Commission on Forensic Science has posted an initial draft under the heading “Report Content” that summarizes the basic information required in a forensic specialty service provider report ( /ncfs/work-products#report).
As indicated, the draft document addresses content, not format Brad Forensic Anthropology Report. Document. Pages. Notes. Text. Zoom. CLOSE. Previous for “” Next. p. 1. Loading Loading. p. 2. Loading Loading. p. 3..
Herein, the authors propose a format for forensic anthropology reports submitted to medical examiners/coroners, that is based on the performance standards established by the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) in 2005. Adopting such a format would provide greater uniformity and clarity across the many forensic disciplines involved in medicolegal death investigation.
“Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward” (2009) recommended standardization of terminology and reporting. With respect to terms, the first author recently addressed the term peri mortem and its vagaries in forensic anthropological use in an earlier article (Bunch 2014).
In regard to reporting the NAS report authors recommend that the “ NIFS should establish model laboratory reports for different forensic science disciplines and specify minimum information that should be included” (2009: 22).
Suggested content areas were “methods and materials, procedures, results and conclusions, and…as appropriate, the sources of uncertainty in the procedure and conclusions along with estimates of their scale (to indicate the level of confidence in the results” (2009: 186). They go on to urge that use of such model reports should be required of forensic scientists for certification purposes and of forensic laboratories for accreditation purposes.
Following this recommendation, the National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) drafted a document regarding Report Content ( /ncfs/work-products#report) that addresses the required elements that should be included a forensic specialty service provider report. Examiners (NAME) presciently developed Forensic Autopsy Performance Standards (2006).
These standards include a section on Documentation and Reports that provides standards for report format and content (p. The report should include: findings including toxicological tests, special tests, microscopic examination, etc. , and (2) the interpretations of the forensic pathologist including cause and manner of death” (2006: 18). The contents include case background and identifiers first (H31.
4), followed by observations and descriptions (H31 The research report is the intellectual foundation of your efforts to understand and contribute new insights about collapse and sustainability. It should contain the .
8 –Part 1), and finally diagnoses and interpretations (H31.
The NAME approached report standardization among its practitioners in a pro-active manner and its’ Documentation and Reports standards can serve as a model for any consultant working with a medical examiner’s office. We propose that forensic anthropologists utilize the NAME reporting format for consultation reports provided to medical examiner/coroner offices The state of affairs at the time of this writing is that practitioners typically agree on what to include in a forensic anthropology report with regard to its basic content; however, there is no consensus on how this information should be presented.
This is illustrated in the certification board assessment of applicant reports (submitted for consideration for acceptance to sit for the certification examination). This process is extremely challenging given the plethora of reporting formats and styles.
While content may vary somewhat from one report to another it is far more consistent than format and organization. Descriptive and interpretive terms oftentimes appear in the same section, paragraphs, and/or even sentences.
The internal beveling of each defect indicates that these are gun shot entrance wounds (see photographs 2-4). ” The hesitation to standardize report format may, in this particular case, be based on the academic rooting of anthropology as a discipline. Academic freedom is highly valued and along with that comes great creativity, multiple forms of expression, and independent thought.
Nevertheless, forensic anthropologists themselves have published basic guidance under the heading “Documentation and Reporting” in various texts (Christensen, Passalaqua, and Bartelink 2014; Byers 2005; Burns 1999) and through the Special Working Group for Anthropology (SWGANTH) standards ( ) 31 Aug 2015 - This review originally appeared on Anthropology Report, has been reproduced here to give us a solid foundation for moving forward. Seary .
(pdf) the forensic anthropology report: a - researchgate
For example, Christensen, Passalaqua, and Bartelink recommend that reports should be organized and clear, evidence-based, without speculation (2014: 55). According to Byers (2005), the final report “should be accurate and complete… and should give the impression that the forensic anthropologist is both competent and conscientious” (p.
With regard to actual organization, Byers states that the report “can have two main parts…a one-page summary that briefly describes the results of the skeletal analysis” (p.
448) and a second part that “should provide a description of the methods used and a detailed discussion of the results obtained from the analysis” (p. Burns (1999) provides suggested sections that should comprise the report, i. , case background, general condition of evidence, inventory, anthropological description, other observations, conclusions, and recommendations. Within the section of anthropological description, the headings of sex, “race”(now typically defined as “ancestry” or “bioaffinity”, age at death, and stature are included.
Trauma would be presented under “other observations” (Burns 1999: 199-201). practice recommendations addressed “Report Organization” (Section 4.
2) thus: according to the type(s) of test(s) performed, such as: * Biological profile conditions, perimortem trauma, postmortem damage)” (2012: 7). recommends that reports should include “opinions and interpretations” along with other information contextualizing the specific tests and methods used (p.
There is no statement made regarding where this information should be situated in the report itself From the first Research Report introduction: The University of Massachusetts Department of Anthropology Research Reports Series is designed to fill two .
Thus, actual best practice for organization or format of reports is not specifically addressed in any clear way bythe SWGANTH Special Area Committees (OSACs), with the Subcommittee on Anthropology falling under the Crime Scene/Death Investigation OSAC. To date the Anthropology Subcommittee of the Crime Scene/Death Investigation OSAC has not published guidelines on Documentation and Reporting.
The consultation report submitted by a forensic anthropologist is de facto a part of a forensic autopsy or examination. Human remains that come to the attention of a medical examiner’s office and receive a case number, whether they are recent, historic, or prehistoric, are processed, analyzed and reports are generated accordingly.
These reports are frequently used by lawyers, judges, family members, tribal leaders and members, jurors, other experts, detectives, investigators, and journalists. It makes sense to have a set of similarly formatted reports from different experts who have contributed their expertise to the same case.
Perhaps more importantly, if a second opinion is obtained (for defense purposes, for example) the reservation of interpretive/subjective information for the latter portion of a consultant report allows the second expert to form his or her own independent interpretation by seeing the descriptive, objective information first. Bias from the original consultant can be lessened by withholding the subjective information for a later section.
It would be easier to consider a standardized format if practitioners keep in mind that other scientists do so for health and safety purposes – peoples’ lives depend on standard practices being applied. Forensic practitioners submitting reports to a medical examiner’s office must consider that a person’s (or persons’) life (or lives) may depend on his or her report content and interpretation.
Furthermore, when a forensic anthropologist serves as an expert in court, it is typically the case that a person has already lost his or her life. In that context, it may make logical and ethical sense to see standardization as a preferred approach.
The Forensic Anthropology Report adapted to NAME specifications: NAME recommends that typically background and descriptive (objective) information is provided first in a report.
For a pathologist this involves a detailed description of the gross autopsy findings and microscopic findings where appropriate This sample Cultural Anthropology report is single spaced to keep file size small. Papers should be double spaced. A Glimpse Into the Culture of the Maasai..
Specifically, these sections would not include interpretation or opinion of a certain finding. 3 cm area of grey-white fibrosis in the muscle of the left ventricle of the heart, but not describe it in this section as a myocardial infarct (heart attack). An anthropologist would in turn provide Burns’ (1999) first three sections: (1) case background information if any is known to him/her , (2) a description of remains/ general condition and (3) inventory --skeletal elements present for analysis.
Photographs of the skeletal elements arranged in anatomical position if possible/appropriate, should appear here. When it comes to skeletal anomalies and/or alterations such as disease markers, fractures, etc.
, these should only be described in detail in this section. Interpretive terms implying causation or timing should not appear here.
In a following section, according to NAME standards, there are the diagnoses and/or interpretations. The medical examiner/coroner provides a list of final diagnoses which, in the above example, would include a myocardial infarct.
It would also include the cause and manner of death and might include an opinion regarding the age of this infarct. Since anthropologists do not diagnose, they would place this information in a “Results” or “Interpretation” section.
Here, the Burns’ sections of anthropological description, other observations, conclusions and recommendations should be presented. SWGANTH proposed content of MNI, biological profile information and description of any traits related to individual identification would be entailed here (as it represents anthropological description and other observations) Here, the anthropologist also may be able to interpret fracture patterns for example, as to whether or not these were related to blunt force trauma, gun shot wound(s), etc.
, identification comparison, trauma, pathological conditions, interpretations) should appear after that basic, descriptive data Anthropology Report. 25K likes. Read real anthropology by real anthropologists. Click e-mail sign-up to subscribe for updates from Living Anthropologically..
read through the objective information that is presented initially, and, based on that information, come to same conclusions that the author of said report has reached. This should be the case now, six months from now, or six years from now.
If a second expert has a differing interpretation, that will be presented in his or her own report and ultimately, in court. There may or may not be an opinion section in the pathology report, depending on the particular office.
Expert “opinions” in a medicolegal sense are different from the objective and interpretative information contained in a pathology or consultant report. Unlike the objective information presented in section 1 of the report, opinions may change in light of new or different investigative evidence.
Opinion evidence is a “witness’s belief, inference, or conclusion regarding fact(s) formed from phenomena and mental impressions” (U. Often opinions are not presented in such a report, but rather are based on the subjective part of a report and are provided during courtroom testimony. An opinion can be contained in the notes of the practitioner or reserved for oral presentation only in court.
If asked for an opinion, the medical examiner or consulting expert will provide it Adam Forensic Anthropology Report. Document. Pages. Notes. Text. Zoom. CLOSE. Previous for “” Next. p. 1. Loading Loading. p. 2. Loading Loading. p. 3..
Summary growing need among practitioners, the authors offer a suggested standardized approach to forensic anthropology consultant reports provided to medical examiner’s offices. This approach follows the NAME Forensic Autopsy Performance Standards (2006).
Since forensic anthropologists that are involved in death investigations work in concert with medical examiners’ offices, it seems to be a practical and reasonable solution to current lack of standardization, to utilize the generally accepted best practices of reporting recommended by NAME. Acknowledgements #2009-DN-BX-K209) for the funding that allowed for the initial presentation and subsequent discussion of this topic in November 2010.
References Science in the United States: A Path Forward”. National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) website (2015) /ncfs/work-products#report On What Terms?” Journal of Forensic Sciences 59 (4): 1041-1045. National Association of Medical Examiners (2006). Forensic Anthropology: Current Methods and Practice. (2005) Introduction to Forensic Anthropology: A Textbook. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Publishers.
Special Working Group for Anthropology (SWGANTH) website (2012) Citations ()Citations ()Introduction to Forensic Anthropology: A Textbook.