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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kugan's Ghost - A doctor's opinion as to his causes of death.

Dear Readers,

I obtained a medical doctor's permission to republish this content in a forum where Kugan's probable causes of death was being discussed by the said doctor.

Here are his views.

"I would like to thank Mr.Poobalan for his wonderful posting of the video clip taken in the mortuary . After watching that clip I had a restless night and could not sleep the whole night . Adding to that horror I had to company my wife in watching the Horror movie in Star Movies last night . Driving to my other clinic in Butterworth, Penang this morning , the whole event kept running in my mind . As a Surgical Medical officer, I have done many postmortems. I have assisted in doing postmortems in murder cases too.

The postmortem
always gives a clue on what caused the death and the estimated time of death based on the rigor mortis that has set in . As a student in medical college I have always been fascinated in Forensic Medicine .

Looking at Kugan's dead body and the wounds
inflicted on him gives a very good clue on what the probable cause of death would be?

The most clearest indication of the cause of death
is the froth seen coming out of his mouth . Death due to asphyxia ( suffocation ).


The video clip must have been taken before the post
mortem .

















I did not see any mid line incision on the chest and abdomen . This is my assertion from what we call as external postmortem .

Based on my experience , I did my own external postmortem
from the video clips and the photos that I have received .

I wish
there was a closer picture of the wound . I managed to zoom in to enlarge the picture to get a better view. We usually start the external postmortems from top to down but in this case I like to take it from the bottom .

First of all , Lets look at the legs . You
will notice that below both the knees , the colour was darker then the thigh . That is due to pooling of blood in the lower limbs .

















At the time of his death the blood did not have a chance to return back to the heart .

When a person dies in a lying down position on his
back , you will notice this pooling of blood on the dependent sides of the back . In this case it was noticed on his lower limbs .

My
assumption here is that he had died on a sitting position or was lying down with his feet hanging down . The blood did not have time to return back to the heart .

Moving up to the back . There is a huge
bruising at the hypochondriac areas of both sides of his abdomen( near the kidney ) . This bruising is caused by the rupture of the capillary veins and arteries , which is probably due to repeated punching or kicking on the area .

















The wounds on the back are not so fresh . In certain areas , there are granulation tissue showing healing . This are injuries inflicted probably 2 to 3 days prior to his death .

The wounds is most probably caused by a blunt object
tearing into the skin due to pressure. Probably he was made to lie down on some rough surface and dragged on it ..

Moving to the chest .
There are some amount of bruises on the chest indicating trauma to the chest . The chest wall appear sunken in . He probably has couple of rib fractures . Postmortem of the chest will confirm .

Next
interesting thing clearly noticed was the abrasion on the neck with a semi circle bruise .

















This is probably due to strangulation on the neck probably with a rope which caused the abrasion.

The abrasion and
the bruise is position exactly on the cricoids cartilage . Probably the force would have caused the cartilage to break .

The face did not
have any gross deformities . There was no signs of the 'Raccoons eyes' ( Black Eye ). He was probably slapped but not punched on his face . The absence of the Raccoons eyes indicates that there was no serious injury to the head .

















There was no bleeding from the ears which also rules out any head injuries. What interests me most is the blood oozing out of the mouth and the froth .

The blood is fresh
and appears as if it was coughed out. The blood is most probably from the tracheal injury .

That would have caused choking . The choking
had triggered bronchospasm causing his air passages to constrict and caused difficulty to breathe .

The froth is not blood stained . That shows
there was no injury to the lung tissue . Froth is usually seen in death due to asphyxia .

Another thing , when there is a tracheal injury,
when a person drinks cold water , the water moves down into the trachea instead of the oesophagus causing vaso vagal inhibition and thus causing broncho spasm. Fluid accumulation in the lung also explains the white froth .

Overall I can see the body is already in
rigor mortis . Rigor Mortis takes place after 6 hours after death and completes in 12 hours .

So at the time the video was taken, Kugan was
already dead for more than 18 hours .

No sign of any active
resuscitation is noted . His body was most probably discovered after he had died . The cause of death is due to asphyxia but most definitely not due to asthma. Historically, law enforcement officials were rarely if ever held to account.

Today, despite increased legal safeguards, law
enforcement officers who flout them can still enjoy effective impunity when they are alleged to have abused or even unlawfully killed their suspects @ victims . Racist Law officers are always brutal and most brutal officers are always racist. The opinion expressed above is not the expert opinion of a Forensic Specialist . It is based on the observation and the knowledge of medicine .

The opinion here is not prejudiced towards the
Police either. I hope someone from (xxxxx forum) can provide me further details of the death and what was in the postmortem report?

Does anybody have the
statistics of deaths in the police lockups of Malaysia? Kugan, was just a car thief . A waste in the society . Probably a drug addict and a disgrace to our community . Some might say that he deserved to die .

If he was caught by the public and beaten to death,
the public would have not made so much noise.

Some said it was his
karma . He had to die a violent death due to his violent life style.
Whatever is being said or done, a human is still a humanbeing . No human has the right to take another man's life .

No matter how cruel a man is, or no
matter how gruesome a man's crime is , we have to respect the Law .

That
separates us from those who live in the jungles . The Law was created not only to protect the innocent but also to deliver justice .

No man
has the right to take the Law unto himself .

The Law punishes the criminal
based on the crime committed .

Even when a person is sentenced to
death, it is by death hanging and based upon the crime committed and the intention to commit such a crime . There have been deaths in the police lock up before . This death received the public's attention because we had the chance to see the dead body for our self and others through the internet .

This has become
possible because of the growing unity in the Indian community .

Kugan's
death is an eye opener for everyone .

The community should realize
that this should not be happening in Malaysia .

A prisoner has his
rights and we have to know them .

Why was Kugan questioned without
the presence of a lawyer?

H
e should have had a lawyer present to advise him. I hope anybody who is a lawyer will explain regarding the rights of an individual when he is arrested . The community today is very upset with what they have seen recently with Kugan's death .

Are we going to prevent such incident from
occurring or prevent others from sharing the same fate as Kugan or are we going to join hands in preventing those unfortunate from becoming someone like Kugan?

Who are we going to blame ?

Is the Malaysian
Government responsible for depriving our Indian community the basic education ?

Are they responsible for the increase in poverty amongst our
community ?

Why have our great leaders chosen by us , in the last 30 years
not done anything to eliminate our misery and instead are busy elevating their assets?

Are we to be blamed for electing the wrong
leaders ?

Do we blame Kugan's parents for their failure to nurture
the son to be a good citizen ? Kugan is not a hero . He was a thief.

His death is of no great loss to
society . He is not a saint or fit to be glorified and made into a statue .

However he is a part of
us . He represented our failure and represented our suffering .

His
death should bring about a greater unity among our community .

For
the sake of our future we should thrive forward to prevent another soul from taking an early departure .

We have to educate the next
generation in order to prevent another Kugan from appearing .

Let
Kugan's death be a lesson to all of us and let Kugan be the Ghost of our past .

Let us thrive to build unity and prosperity in our
community for the sake of our future generation . What happened to Kugan was a sad tragedy .

Whether it was his choice to
choose the wrong path or was it society that drove him to choose such a path only he could have answered but those who were responsible for his early departure although they were eager to solve the case had no right to torture another human being to death! My sympathies to the family who have to live with this traumatic experience for the rest of their lives .

All we can do is to pray to
God to forgive Kugan for his crimes for he has paid his dues dearly by undergoing a tremendous torture and eventually paid with his life.

As for
our community, the Ghost of Kugan will remain to haunt us constantly and remind us of our sufferings whilst our elected political and society leaders sleep peacefully dreaming about their bank balances get bigger .

Justice Has Still Not Been Served
.

Dr.Sreedharan

* Minor grammatical errors and typos have been corrected by me. The gist of Dr.Sreedharan's article remains untouched.
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