Development of the Australian Society of Forensic Odontology disaster victim identification forensic odontology guide.
The need for documented procedures and protocols are important in every specialist group to ensure a consistent service to the community. They provide guidance to members of the specialist group about responsibilities and appropriate practices, and confidence to the community that the services are of the highest possible standard. In a Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) incident, by enabling the process to be audited, they also serve to ensure that identifications are reliable. Following the Bali Bombings of 2002 and the 2004 Asian Tsunami the Australian Society of Forensic Odontology recognised the need for a practice guide to assist the management of their members in DVI incidents. 31 members of the Australian Society of Forensic Odontology participated in the development of a guideline document for Disaster Victim Identification using a Delphi based model. The advantage of using the iterative Delphi process is that it encouraged participants to think about the processes used in the forensic odontology aspects of a DVI incident and their expectations of a guiding document. The document developed as a result of this project is comprehensive in coverage and places the Australian Society of Forensic Odontology at the vanguard of professionalism in the forensic odontology and DVI community. (+info)
A brief history of forensic odontology and disaster victim identification practices in Australia.
Today we consider forensic odontology to be a specialised and reliable method of identification of the deceased, particularly in multiple fatality incidents. While this reputation has been gained from the application of forensic odontology in both single identification and disaster situations over a number of years, the professional nature of the discipline and its practices have evolved only recently. This paper summarises some of early uses of forensic odontology internationally and in Australia and discusses the development of both forensic odontology and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) practices in each of the states and territories of Australia. The earliest accounts of the use of forensic odontology in Australia date to the 1920's and 30's, and were characterised by inexperienced practitioners and little procedural formality. An organised and semi-formal service commenced in most states during the 1960's although its use by police forces was spasmodic. Today the service provided by qualified and experienced forensic odontologists is highly professional and regularly utilised by police and coronial services. The development of DVI Practices in Australia began following the crash of a Vickers Viscount aircraft into Botany Bay in 1961 and, as with practices internationally, have evolved into an equally professional and reliable specialist discipline of policing in which forensic odontology plays a significant part. (+info)