Forensic Medicine and Imaging
The focus is on performing forensic examinations on living and dead persons on behalf of the prosecuting authorities. The aim is to provide clarification in respect of possible criminal offenses against life and limb and also offenses of a sexual nature. This includes examining bodies onsite (legal inspection), tomography investigations, 3D surface documentation and autopsies, as well as examinations of living persons, including securing of evidence from both, victims and suspects (physical injuries, child abuse, sexual offenses, attempted murders, etc.).
The Institute of Forensic Medicine at Bern also drafts reports on forensics issues or medical errors, some of which will constitute a decisive expert opinion. Reconstruction-type assessments are produced on the basis of 3D documentation, particularly in relation to crimes or traffic accidents. Dynamic reconstructions of incidents with firearms (ballistics) as well as sharp and blunt force (forensic physics) belong to the spectrum of the department as well as the investigation of the danger of thrown, shot and struck objects, "non-lethal" weapons and other devices.
Investigations following death (legal inspections, autopsies)
Forensic 3D reconstructions
Forensic 3D reconstructions are very helpful in terms of clarifying:
- Gunshot wounds
- Traffic accidents
- Workplace accidents
Examination of living persons, including the securing of evidence (victims and possible perpetrators) with a view to clarifying:
- physical injuries
- child abuse
- sex offenses
-> Early examination is recommended for the purpose of documenting injuries and securing evidence. Points of contact for victims (a forensic pathologist is called in even before a police report is filed):
- Physical injuries to adults: City emergency service, tel.: +41 (0)31 326 20 00
- Child abuse/sex offenses where victims are children: Children's Department at Bern University Hospital, tel.: +41 (0)31 632 92 77
- Sex offenses where victims are women: Women's Department at Bern University Hospital, tel.: +41 (0)31 632 10 10 or police contact point, +41 (0)31 332 77 77 (voice mail service, police official will call back immediately)
Forensic physics is concerned with investigating the effects of blunt force on humans or forces produced by sharp instruments. Various procedures are used to investigate the phenomena encountered during practical forensics work:
- The danger level when persons are beaten with objects or have them thrown at them can be investigated by measuring the energy involved during beating or throwing.
- The level of danger (in mechanical terms) associated with jets of liquid such as pepper spray can be determined via pressure measurements and high-speed photography.
- A drop tower makes it possible to reconstruct puncture and impact scenarios.
- In collaboration with the mechanical workshop, a wide range of scenarios can be recreated in order to reconstruct a particular case.
- The level of danger associated with blast incidents can be determined via blast pressure measurements.