Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2009 , Vol 12, Issue 4
Nergis CANTÜRK2, Gürol CANTÜRK1, Taşkın ÖZDEŞ3, Rukiye DAĞALP4
1Ankara Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Adli Tıp Anabilim Dalı ANKARA
2Adli Tıp Kurumu Ankara Grup Başkanlığı, Morg İhtisas Dairesi ANKARA
3Adli Tıp Kurumu Kastamonu Şube Müdürlüğü, Şube Müdürlüğü KASTAMONU
4Ankara Üniversitesi Fen Fakültesi, İstatistik Bölümü, ANKARA
Introduction: Senescence is a natural physiological process and people 65 years and over are considered as the old age group. Elders are the fastest growing segment of the population in developed countries. The aim of this study was to discuss the data on forensic deaths and autopsy findings in elderly people aged 65 years and over.

Materials and Method: The elderly autopsies were performed between 2004 and 2006 in Morgue Department, State Institute of Forensic Medicine, Ankara. The cases were evaluated in terms of age, sex, cause of death, manner of death and laboratory analyses.

Results: The authors evaluated autopsy reports of 375 elderly deaths. The mean age of cases was 73.98 (sd= 6,29) years and 72.53% of the cases were male. A total of 45.6% were traumatic and 54.4% were pathologic deaths. As for traumatic deaths, 37 (21.64%) suicide cases, 31 (18.13%) homicide cases, 103 (60.23%) accident cases were identified. The suicide method preferred was hanging in 23 (62.2%) cases, and gunshots in 8 (21.6%) cases. In 24 (6.4%) of the cases ethanol was detected in blood.

Conclusion: The manner of death may be accidental, homicidal or suicidal in elderly people. We identified 37 suicide cases, 31 homicide cases, and 103 accident cases. Determination of manner of death is important for judicial authorities, and should be determined without a careful investigation of the circumstances of death, investigation of the crime scene, complete autopsy, laboratory studies and judicial inquiry. Keywords : Elderly, Autopsy, Forensic medicine