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Evaluation of Forensic Deaths During the Month of Ramadan in Konya, Turkey, Between 2000 and 2009

Demirci, Serafettin MD*; Dogan, Kamil Hakan MD, PhD; Koc, Sermet MD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 267–270
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182a0a430
Original Articles

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslim people and includes long fasting periods. During Ramadan, practicing Muslims not only fast, but they also abstain from any kind of medication, smoking, sexual intercourse, and alcohol from sunrise to sunset. In the 10-year period between 2000 and 2009, it was determined that a total of 4881 death examinations and autopsies were performed at the Konya Branch of the Forensic Medicine Council (Turkey). All of the reports were retrospectively evaluated for demographic features of the cases and the manner of death. In the studied time period, a total of 491 deaths (10.1%) occurred in Ramadan. The manner of death was accident in 369 (75.2%) of the cases in Ramadan, 3107 (70.8%) of the other cases; suicide in 27 (5.5%) of the cases in Ramadan, 367 (8.4%) of the other cases; and homicide in 28 (5.7%) of the cases in Ramadan, 375 (8.5%) of the other cases. There was a significant statistical difference in terms of the manner of death between the deaths in Ramadan and in the remaining part of the year (P < 0.05). Our study suggested that there was an increase in accidental and natural deaths and a decrease in suicide and homicides in Ramadan.

From the *Department of Forensic Medicine, Meram Medical School, Necmettin Erbakan University; and †Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Selcuk University, Konya; and ‡Department of Forensic Medicine, Cerrahpasa Medical School, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Manuscript received December 17, 2012; accepted February 22, 2013.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Kamil Hakan Dogan, MD, PhD, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Selcuk University, Aleaddin Keykubat Campus, 42075 Selcuklu, Konya, Turkey. E-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.