Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2012; 1(2):(21-318)


Murder and ill-health: A health crime phenomenon

Paul Andrew Bourne

Abstract

Introduction: The annual numbers of murders in Jamaica are more than the number of deaths by HIV and relatively close to those mortalities by diabetes mellitus. On average between 1988 and 2011, there were 1, 042 cases of murders, with 2009 being the murderous year in the nation’s history (1,680 cases). Although the murder statistics read like many non-communicable diseases, there is limited literature on health crimes. Objectives: This paper 1) examines the bivariate correlation between ill-health and murder, 2) models ill-health over the last 21 years, 3) establishes a function of murder, 4) determines a best fit model for ill-health and murders in Jamaica from 1989-to-2010, 5) commences literature on health crimes, 6) aids policy specialists to formulate the research driven policies based on the findings, and 7) the influence of GDP, unemployment and murders on illness rates. Methods: Using data collated from Government of Jamaica Publications on murders and illness rates from 1989-to-2010, this work used SPSS to examine objectives 1 through 5. Results: The relationship between illness rate and murder is a non-linear one, which is fitted by a 3 degree polynomial. Conclusions: The causes, consequences and challenges of murders extend to ill-health. The opportunity costs of murder constitute the lost production, creativity, social contribution and scientific discovery that the society must forego because of the termination of the human life as well as the current burden of health conditions among the living that arise in the aftermath of a murder.

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