On the issue of terminology in forensic medicine and its compliance with the applicable GOST standards of scissors

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Abstract


Background: The terminology used in the production of forensic medical examinations should be interpreted unambiguously by forensic medical experts, employees of investigative bodies, and doctors of other specialties and be the basis for their mutual understanding. The examination of clothing and shoes, as well as their damage, is an important part of the expert’s work. However, in the presence of forensic and forensic literature on this issue, currently increasing lack of educational and methodological publications covering modern terminological definitions is observed. During the production of forensic medical examinations of material evidence, the expert often comes across trace-forming objects (or parts of them), which is found difficult to name or describe without prejudice to an unambiguous interpretation. Attention is drawn to the fact that names of the scissors’ areas are ignored in the practice of forensic medicine. Even with the well-established concept of “scissors branch” in expert practice, different points of view are made. Aims: This study aimed to identify terminology that defines standards that ensure mutual understanding between specialists in different fields and consolidate unambiguous terms and definitions at the level of knowledge and concepts of modern science. As a result of the conducted research, authors come to the conclusion that in order to reduce the risk of different understanding of terms (including nonmedical ones), it is necessary to refer to the State Standards of the Russian Federation (GOST). As an example, this article presents the terms of the current State Standard 51268-9, wherein the main trace-forming elements of scissors are not branches but knives, and the concept of “branches” does not contain this GOST. Conclusion: Standardization and bringing forensic medical terms to the corresponding GOST standards in the production of forensic medical examinations will not only increase their quality and informativeness for investigative authorities, but also eliminate discrepancies in terminology between law enforcement officers, forensic medical experts, and doctors of other specialties.


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INTRODUCTION
"Define the meaning of words, and you will save humanity from half of the misconceptions" - the words attributed to Rene Descartes, the French philosopher, mathematician, physicist and physiologist of the 16th century can be directly attributed to the definition of concepts in medical science.
An unambiguous interpretation of the terminology used in the production of forensic medical examinations is the basis for mutual understanding of forensic medical experts, law enforcement officers and doctors of other specialties. To assist in this difficult process, reference and methodological manuals, dictionaries, textbooks and manuals on forensic medicine have been published [1,2,3], which help to fully explain a particular special medical term. In numerous publications, the organizational and procedural foundations of forensic medical examination and the theory of forensic medicine are presented, and questions on laboratory methods of examining physical evidence are covered. In many dictionaries, the meanings of medical terms used in the production of forensic medical examinations are briefly but succinctly given.
TERMINOLOGY TRACE ANALYSIS
When conducting medical-forensic ballistics and trasological examinations, for the comparability of terminology, the concepts adopted in forensic (forensic) ballistics and trasology are used, which are also generalized and systematized in specialized reference materials [4].
The examination of clothing and shoes, as well as damage to them, is an important part of the expert's work. However, in the presence of forensic and forensic literature devoted to this issue [5,6,7], there is currently an increasing lack of educational and methodological publications covering modern knowledge in this direction.
ANALYSIS OF LITERATURE AND ARCHIVAL DATA
During the production of forensic medical examinations of material evidence, the expert may encounter trace-forming objects or their parts, which he finds it difficult to name or describe. In this case, most often, it is followed by an appeal to the available specialized literature or information on the Internet, which sometimes gives outdated information in the first case, and erroneous information in the second.
Also in the available literature there are a number of publications that affect the terminology of certain trace-forming subjects [8,9,10,11,12], but these works relate only to narrow specific issues and do not have direct references to GOST standards, operating with generally accepted forensic medical terms.
Analyzing the archival data of forensic medical practice in the field of examinations concerning injuries caused by sharp objects, the author of this article drew attention to the lack of a unified approach to the description of traumatic objects (most often such trace-forming objects were scissors). Attention was drawn to the fact that the name of this object was given regardless of its purpose (household, sewing, tailoring, manufacturing, office, etc.). Quite rarely, experts paid attention to the method of manufacturing scissors (all-metal or combined), as well as the presence or absence of a lock (stop in the hinge part). In addition, the weighing of scissors was also not common.
THE NAME OF THE PARTS OF THE SCISSORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOST
Attention is drawn to the fact that the names of the scissors ' areas are ignored in the practice of forensic medicine. Even with the well-established concept of "scissors branch" in expert practice, there are different points of view. Some experts, the concept of "brane" determines as the area of scissors from the sharp end (the tip) to the start point of the hinge part, and others as one of the two parts of the scissors as a whole, others were taken over branchu area one of the two parts of the scissors from the tip to the end of the joint [13]. In the generally accepted concept, a branch is one of the areas of rod lever tools (for example, tweezers) in the interval from the junction of the levers to the beginning of the working area. And, in this definition, the concept of "bransha" is more applicable to forceps or tweezers. As for the definition of "scissors handle", the author of this article also did not meet an unambiguous understanding on the part of experts. This term has been interpreted in different ways. The scissors ' handles, depending on the shape of a particular object, were considered by experts in different cases - both handles and rings; the hinge part, handles and rings; only rings. These differences in terminology, sooner or later, can lead not only to inaccuracies in the description and measurement of specific subjects, but also, ultimately, to a lack of mutual understanding between specialists in various fields.
In our opinion, in case of such difficulties, as shown by the example of scissors, it is necessary to refer to the State Standards of the Russian Federation.
State standards of the Russian Federation (GOST) are necessary in most areas of human activity, they are mandatory for use by all enterprises, organizations and institutions. State standards regulate, among other things, designations, terms and parameters, and preserve the relationship of various fields of science and technology.
The goal of standardization is to introduce unambiguous terminology that defines standards that ensure mutual understanding between specialists in different fields. Its main objectives are to consolidate the terms and definitions at the level of knowledge and concepts of modern science, the comparability of national and international terminology, as well as the identification and elimination of the shortcomings identified in it [14].
In the process of the appearance of new subjects, new standardizations (including terms and designations) are formed [15] and this is a continuous process, which is also reflected in the changes in State Standards (GOST). According to this, the state standards are updated and updated annually.
However, the practice of forensic medical examination shows its conservatism and, when describing the identification features of traumatic objects, for example, scissors, does not focus on the new state standards, adhering to certain fixed terms, which, often, are not clearly defined in forensic medicine.
In the theory and practice of forensic medicine, in relation to terms and concepts, it is considered necessary to use standards from GOST. As an example, according to the State Standard (GOST) 51268-99, the main trace-forming elements of scissors are knives, and not branches, since the above-mentioned GOST does not contain the concept of "branches" [16].

CONCLUSION
Thus, the authors of the article believe that, when describing the trace-forming objects submitted for forensic medical examination, it is necessary to use the terms contained in the State Standards of the Russian Federation (GOST), and only in their absence it is possible to refer to the generally accepted forensic terminology. Standardization and bringing forensic medical terms to the corresponding GOST standards in the production of forensic medical examinations will not only increase their quality and informativeness for investigative bodies, but also eliminate discrepancies in terminology between law enforcement officers, forensic medical experts and doctors of other specialties.

About the authors

Natalia E. Nazarova

Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination; North-Western State Medical University named aft er I.I. Mechnikov

Email: na532z@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2020-0291
SPIN-code: 6821-6095

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Yuriy Viktorovich Nazarov

Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination; North-Western State Medical University named aft er I.I. Mechnikov

Author for correspondence.
Email: naz532@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4629-4521
SPIN-code: 2390-8227
Scopus Author ID: 57137901000

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Dr. Sci. (Med.)

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