People in the human rights field tend to be highly sensitive to death. Successful human rights advocacy involves drawing attention to wrongful death and gross mistreatment of individuals, and is often accomplished by conveying an appalled reaction to such acts. In most senses, this response is appropriate; what is more serious than death?
Yet in the forensic field, death is a given. Every case that a forensic specialist takes on involves a person that has died. Dark senses of humor abound in this profession, and initially during my transition I was surprised by the lack of emotional response conveyed by forensic anthropologists when in the face of traumatic death. But I am coming to understand the medical and scientific lens that one must look through in order to successfully complete forensic work, which is important on both a personal and professional level. A sense of humor helps too, even if a dark one!
Despite their differences, both human rights advocates and forensic professionals have the common goal of obtaining justice and dignity for the deceased, who can no longer speak for themselves. It is difficult for me, however, to have to choose between these two fields. Having now completed three weeks with the FAFG in