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Title: The deaths of children and adolescents up to 18 years of age, in which opinions were issued by the Chair and Department of Forensic Medicine of the Jagiellonian University in the years 2000-2010


In the forensic analysis of childhood deaths, we can distinguish killings, suicides, accidents of various types and deaths due to illness. A similar classification is used to analyze adult deaths, however, both the causes of deaths and their distribution in both age groups are different. This is due to the differences in childhood diseases and adults, lifestyle and social tasks. There are many studies devoted to the problem of child and youth mortality. In most cases that kind of studies are of a statistical nature, used to show the scale of the phenomenon, its causes and mortality trends, i.e. observation whether in a given period of time the number of deaths of children due to a given cause increases or decreases. The obvious limitations of such studies do not allow to explore the cause of death, circumstances of death or pick out individual cases from the mass. The article 209 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 1987, as amended) constitutes the legal basis for forensic medical autopsy. The article indicates the scope of cases analyzed in the Forensic Medicine Departments, including deaths of children and youth. Therefore the scope can be seen only as a certain fragment of all deaths of juveniles, cases being supervised by the Prosecutor and the Police. The deaths of children and adolescents up to 18 years of age, in which opinions were issued by ; the Chair and Department of Forensic Medicine of the Jagiellonian University in the years 2000-2010 constitute the main issue of that work. The region from which the analyzed cases originate covers the area of Lesser Poland, part of the Świętokrzyskie and Podkarpackie voivodships. A total of 11,260 post-mortem examinations were carried out In the Department and Forensic Medicine UJCM in the period from 2000 to 2010. That number includes 481 post mortem examinations performed on persons under the age of 18, which comes down to 4.2 percent of all autopsies at that time. The study group included 159 female and 322 male, accounting for 33% and 57% of child deaths, respectively. Among the selected cases there were 12 cases of infanticide, 15 killings, 60 suicides, 303 cases of a broadly understood accident and 91 deaths due to illness. The scope of tests carried out at the Department of Forensic Medicine included forensic autopsy, histopathological examinations of organ samples taken during the autopsy, blood and urine tests for ethyl alcohol, and in some cases also toxicological analysis of the protected material, microbiological and biochemical tests.123 The results of the conducted research showed that boys were the most numerous group of deceased subjects in the analyzed period. Moreover in cases of drowning and where death occurred as a result of suicide by hanging, the number ; of boys exceeded 80% of the cases of the examined group. During the examined period, the number of suicides of children and adolescents examined in the Krakow Institute of Forensic Medicine remained at a similar level. There was also no change in the number of infanticides. Their number invariably oscillated around 0-2 cases per year. This work focuses mostly on the cases of homicides and infanticide. Not only were the victims of crime analyzed but also the modus operandi of perpetrators. It was shown that the parents who deprived their children of their lives at the time of the act were in a state of severe psychosis, and the most commonly used tool of the act was a knife. There was not a single case of altruistic murder reported as the most common in Anglo-Saxon studies. The analysis of infanticide cases also confirmed that over the past several decades the profile of female infanticide has not changed significantly. The range of explanations they provide after detention has not changed. Giving a birth to a stillborn child was the most frequently reported reason for abandoning a baby. Interestingly, in the study group a large percentage of cases were found in which the crime was disclosed as a result of medical Ambulance Service intervention for cases of bleeding from the genital tract after delivery. This implies reflection that the cooperation of forensic medicine with br ; oadly understood clinical medicine on educational grounds brings measurable benefits. In conclusion, it is worth noticing that putting together the variety of cases in one study allowed to show the great importance of a properly conducted forensic medical section. On the one hand, in cases where the criminal action was obvious the determination of the cause and mechanism of death allowed to properly direct the further proceedings of the law enforcement authorities. On the other hand in cases of the sudden, unclear death of a child, establishing the fact that death occured as a result of illness allowed to end them.

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Level of degree:

2 - studia doktoranckie

Degree discipline:

medycyna sądowa.

Degree grantor:

Wydział Lekarski


Konopka, Tomasz

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tylko w bibliotece

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Sep 2, 2022

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May 23, 2022

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Edition name Date
ZB-133533 Sep 2, 2022


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