Dignified Management of the Dead from Humanitarian Forensic Odontology Perspective: A Need for the National and State Level Scientific Disaster Victim Identification Teams in India


Jayasankar P. Pillai
Rajesh Babu
Chintan Pathak
Emilio Nuzzolese


Disasters are always unpredictable irrespective of their origin. The loss of human lives is a common outcome of disasters. Along with the physical and emotional trauma sustained by the victims, there is the additional responsibility of handling the deceased. Though there is an exclusive component with the management of the dead in place the specific issue about identifying them is still a complex process. Humanitarian forensics especially involves handling, identifying and disposing the dead bodies. It requires the application of the principles of forensic sciences in a multidisciplinary way. The role of forensic odontologists and anthropologists is not only restricted to the scientific collection of dental data from the dead body but also the proper utilization of the antemortem dental data to successfully establish the identity of the deceased, either alone or combined with secondary characteristics. Elaborate and comprehensive information with justification on the role of dental data and forensic odontologists in the dignified management of the dead need to be highlighted to the Disaster Management authorities. Several International organizations have pointed out the importance of odontology features in human identification. Moreover, forensic odontologists and general dentists are also involved in the international disaster victim identification teams. The present article provides basic knowledge on disaster risk management and the institutional framework in Disaster Management and also highlights the role of forensic odontology in disaster victim identification. It calls for national and state disaster victim identification teams with the involvement of forensic odontologists.


How to Cite
Pillai, J. P. ., Babu, R. ., Pathak, C. ., & Nuzzolese, E. . (2022). Dignified Management of the Dead from Humanitarian Forensic Odontology Perspective: A Need for the National and State Level Scientific Disaster Victim Identification Teams in India. Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences, 12(2), 127–135. https://doi.org/10.18311/jfds/12/2/2020.616


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