Posts Tagged ‘Death’

Autoerotic Fatalities

November 19, 2008

This course has truly revealed my naiveté even though I have considered myself a seasoned emergency department nurse. I was astounded to learn that people indulge in sexual preferences that are of such risk-taking that might lead to their death by asphyxiation, chains, infibulations, or other masochistic behavior. Unfortunately, they can very easily be misconstrued as a suicide attempt. In reading this chapter, I can very well understand how a lonely individual with misguided thinking could indulge in fantasies that could lead to dangerous paths leading to sexual arousal. Unfortunately, when their risk-taking fails due to the lack or inaccessibility of a self-rescue mechanism, all bets are off. One could also wonder if disapproving significant others contribute to the demise – in this case leading to a homicide. I have personally witnessed many “huffers,” cutters, and those who have used bondage and plastic bags for induced suffocation to obtain a high. Fortunately, for the most part, they have been “found” in time, although we did have one girl who I believe was truly suicidal who came in with a note pinned to her nightie that read “this time I did it right.” Autoeroticism is one area I hope I do not bear witness to very often, however. This must be a devastating way to die. References Lynch, Virginia A. and Duval, Janet Barber. (2006). Forensic Nursing. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby

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Murder Intent

November 19, 2008

I found a section of the reading very interesting that pertained to the intent of murder. Profiling and murder and investigation are very much a science. I was stunned to learn the precise causative factors of the “why” and “wherefores” of how one individual could take another’s life. According to the text, when one person is murdered, the criminal intent is probably for an insurance collection or contract killing. The emotional or specific causes are: – Self-defense – Compassion, such as mercy killings – Family violence – Paranoid reaction – Emotional disorder – Assassination – Religious – Cult activity – Fanatical reaction. It the crime was sexually motivated the following play into the murder: – Rape and other sexual activity – Mutilation – Dismemberment – Evisceration. A murder that involves two or more victims is usually gang related, competition or politically motivated. The emotional or specific causes and the sexually motivated actions remain the same as above. References Lynch, Virginia A. and Duval, Janet Barber. (2006). Forensic Nursing. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby

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Cultural Competency in Death

November 19, 2008

The family is the central caretaker of the dead throughout the world, including the US. The US is also a virtual melting pot of cultures and we must be cognizant of all the different belief systems at work. According to the text, cultural competency from the death related standpoint looks at subjective, objective and the cross-cultural encounter. The first encompasses the victim, family, cultural and social characteristics including worldview and communication. Subjective perspectives deal with self-awareness, values and beliefs. Communication is key. Death notification should never be communicated by telephone; rather empathetically face-to-face. Factors that are of upmost importance are compassion, consideration of the family’s language skills, tone of voice, nonverbal communication, privacy, personal space, eye contact, touch, time orientation, socioeconomic status, social class, sexual orientation, disability and death rituals. Support of the grieving family is a major factor in this process. References Lynch, Virginia A. and Duval, Janet Barber. (2006). Forensic Nursing. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby

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Definition of death

November 19, 2008

Death is declared using the Triad of Bichat that states that death is “the failure of the body as an integrated system associated with the irreversible loss of circulation, respiration and innervations.” This is somatic or clinical death with irreversible brain function. A person who is declared brain dead is legally dead. Certification of death is based on the physician’s ability to determine the cause of death based on reasonable medical certainty. References Lynch, Virginia A. and Duval, Janet Barber. (2006). Forensic Nursing. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby

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