Thursday, March 02, 2006

Brain Surgery on the Dead

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) turns 50 this year, and is outdoing itself in hosting dynamic, effective people from all around the world, and tonight 180 discerning correspondents listened and grilled (Kunying [roughly, Lady]) Porntip
, Thailand's first all-star practitioner of responsible forensic pathology.

She spoke in highly-educated English, and tread a careful path between telling the truth and telling the WHOLE truth, which could 'get me in big trouble tomorrow.'

With a well-prepared slide show, and a warning as she began that the material she would cover included graphic, real-life pictures of dead and abused adults and children, she moved quickly through her well- presented program, emphasising the following:

+ Thailand's urgent and chronic need for good forensics practitioners; and
+ Thailand's similar need for forensics to be codified and set into Thai criminal law;
+ but there is ongoing active and passive obstruction, obfuscation, foot-dragging, dawdling and smoke-screening by high-level (but unnamed) Thai police.

!+ There are problems with transparency, in Thailand. Deaths are investigated with police and the legally-mandated, usually local village, doctor. This leads to problems of misdiagnosis, shoddy investigation (when there IS an investigation), and huge frustration among survivors, family and friends. Oh, and widespread police anger at Porntip's team, and its successful (and publicized) investigations.

!+ Un-Identified Remains Problems: Thailand currently has between 2 and 5,000 UI human remains cases pending; and widespread police anger at Porntip's team, and its successful (and publicized) investigations of some of these. There are conflicting laws that pertain to these, and none of them approach or approximate similar Australian, American or British laws and forensics practices.

!+ Although there are some highly competent practitioners of Forensic Medicine, there are only 5 practitioners of Forensic Pathology in Thailand, with its current population of 63 million souls.

Lady Porntip ( often called Doctor Death or 'Spikey' because of her bold hairdo) is tireless in taking her message of the Need to Improve Thai law, forensics and public awareness, but there is widespread police anger at Porntip's team, and its successful (and publicized) investigations.

The message came through: when she investigates as an authorized member of the Justice Department of Thailand, (persons unnamed) demand that she work under the local auspices of the military; which then gets orders within 48-to-36 hours, to leave the crime-scene and return to Bangkok. This leaves only the police to investigate controversial deaths, which fills them with anger at Porntip's team, and its successful (and publicized) investigations.

At the end of her prepared program, Lady Porntip fielded questions about the TWIX-Poisonings at TESCO-Lotus; about conditions at migrant camps, from 'Save the Children'; and questions from several independent journalists about police anger and police capability regarding crime scene investigations; and a question from someone representing Pajamas Media.

Whatever that is.
Whoever that could be.



Anonymous RL Earth Squatter said...

Post-mortem brain surgery by Dr. Death? A living Ms. Reaper so to speak. As usual, the tragic necessity of death, whether untimely or otherwise, is more about the living. Certainly, in cases of homicide, the perpetrator should be sought out and punished. But, in a country that can barely afford to feed its living, how much is solace really worth? Because that’s what it boils down to. There is a greater demand for doctors of the breathing than of the defunct, in my humble opinion. Although the entire concept of an after death medical checks-up is provocative. At least one needn’t worry about battling Bangkok traffic on the way to the appointment…

Friday, March 03, 2006 2:08:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

We make light of it, earth squatter, because it is a fearsome subject.

But it touches the living in more ways than just solace or revenge. Forensics is important to the living who have been raped, or happen to be children abused, but not to the point of death.

Another way: a group of -say- 12 suspects (from one naval unit) are jailed by police, and told to confess (even if they have to make up a story to falsely entrap someone) or they'll ROT in jail!

The next day, one of their group is found dead, and the police-doctor labels it suicide, BUT Porntip's Team says the shoe-shaped bruises on his chest indicate somebody jumped on him and literally broke his heart, and they are police-shoe-shaped bruises... the remaining 11 have an active interest in getting to the truth, and getting public support for their poor plight!

Friday, March 03, 2006 11:56:00 PM  

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