DENT5654 Forensic Pathology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit is taken as part of the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology and is taken in conjunction with DENT5653 Forensic Medicine. It provides an overview of the history of forensic odontology, protocols of the mortuary and crime scene, the medico-legal autopsy, post-mortem changes, significance of saliva, semen, cytology and DNA fingerprinting, non-biological methods of identification, the biodynamics of craniofacial injuries, disaster victim identification (DVI), physical anthropology investigation and forensic photography. The unit emphasises oral histology and pathology and the scientific aspects of these topics.
Students are able to (1) understand the process of body decomposition; (2) demonstrate skills in evaluating injuries resulting in death; (3) demonstrate the ability to evaluate bite marks; (4) use effective communication skills with colleagues and allied personnel such as pathologists; (5) understand and apply mortuary protocols and policies; and (6) demonstrate skills in mortuary procedures.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignment work; (2) one written examination (1.5 hours); and (3) a viva voce examination (45 minutes). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Stephen Knott
Unit rules
Bachelor of Dental Science from this University
equivalent as recognised by the Faculty; and at least two years' experience in the practice of general dentistry
enrolment in the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology (91350);
DENT5653 Forensic Medicine
Approved quota: 2
Contact hours
lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work: 60–70 hours according to mortuary casework and court attendance

An Introduction to SEM, DVD tutorial

Bass, W. M. Human Osteology: a Laboratory and Field Manual: Missouri Archaeological Society 1987

Blau, S. and Ubelaker, D., eds. Handbook of Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology: Left Coast Press 2009

Dolinak, D. et al. Forensic Pathology: Principles and Practice: Elsevier Academic Press 2005

Finkbeiner, W. E. et al. Autopsy Pathology: a Manual and Atlas, 2nd edn: Churchill Livingstone 2004

Flegler, S. L. et al. Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy: an Introduction: W. H. Freeman 1993

Haglund, W. D. and Sorg, M. H., eds. Forensic Taphonomy: the Post-Mortem Fate of Human Remains: CRC Press 1997

Krogman, W. M. and Iscar, M. Y. The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine, 2nd edn: Charles Thomas Publishing 1986

Pickering, R. B. and Bachman, D. C. The Use of Forensic Anthropology: CRC Press 1996

White, T. D. Human Osteology: Academic Press 2000

Rogers, S. L. The Testimony of Teeth: Forensic Aspects of Human Dentition: C. C. Thomas 1988

Saukko, P. and Knight, B. Knight's Forensic Pathology, 3rd edn: OUP 2004

Scott, G. R. and Turner, C. G. The Anthropology of Modern Human Teeth: CUP 1997

Scott, J. H. and Dixon, A. D. Anatomy for Students of Dentistry, 2nd edn: Livingstone Press 1966

Standish, M. S. and Stimson, P. G., eds. Symposium on Forensic Dentistry: Legal Obligations and Methods of Identification for the Practitioner: Saunders 1977

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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.