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Dr BEH Philip SL |
Associate Professor
MBBS HK; DMJ (Clin et Path) Lond; CTLHE HK; FHKCPath; FHKAM (Pathology)

Giving a voice to the dead and the injured – forensic medicine

Research Description

Current research has focused on the development and maintenance of a Hong Kong Homicide Monitoring Database. The data collected in this ongoing project is proving to be important for research into the many different types of homicides. A successful example of its utilization has been the study report on Homicide-Suicide in Hong Kong, a comprehensive description and analysis of the many aspects of the tragic circumstances that lead to homicide-suicides in Hong Kong. Other examples include a study that associates injuries on victims of homicides with the victim-offender relationship and post-killing behavior of offenders correlated their relationship with the victim and other offender attributes. Studies into many other areas are on-going. The other area of expertise and study has been the issues surrounding sexual assaults in Hong Kong. Studies on prevalence, and victim and offender characteristics have been published, as well as a recent study on attrition rates. Continuous advocacy for the improvement of services to these victims and studies to fill gaps in current knowledge are being pursued.

An emerging area of interest is that of exploring the reasons for a decline in autopsies; even in medicolegal cases. Attempts are made to explore the attitudes of the key players: Coroners, pathologists, police officers, next-of-kin as well as those of the general public and assessing their impact on the likelihood of an autopsy.

Cooperation with colleagues in the HK Jockey Club Centre for Research and Prevention of Suicides have led to some publications looking at the impact of suicide on survivors and the identification of needs for bereavement services for survivors of suicides as well as for those of other forms of sudden deaths. Forensic pathology and clinical forensic medicine is a rich field for applied research and continuous efforts are made to collaborate with and support colleagues with a common interest.

 Media Interview

RTHK documentary "The Making of Healers" (大醫之道) - Episode on "Master Teachers" [From 08:36] here


Awards and Honors

Selected Publications

Researcher Profile on HKU Scholars Hub

Click here for detail publication list on PubMed

Janneke N. Frambach, Erik W. Driessen, Philip Beh & Cess P.M. van der Vleuten, Quiet or Questioning? Students’ discussion behaviors in student-centered education across culture. Studies in Higher Education (2013) 1-21. Routledge Taylor Francis Group

K.I. Au & S.L. Beh, Injury patterns of sharp instrument homicides in Hong Kong. For Sci Intl 204 (2011) 201-204. Elsevier.

Aris C.Y. Chan, Philip S.L. Beh & R.G. Broadhurst, To Flee or Not: Postkilling Responses Among Initmate Partner Homicide Offenders in Hong Kong. Homicide Studies 14(4) 400-418 (2010) Sage Publications.

Joe K.M. Fan, Daniel H.H. Tong, Jensen T.C. Poon, Oswens S.H. Lo, Philip S.L. Beh, N.G. Patil & W.L. Law, Multimodality minimally invasive autopsy – A feasible and accurate approach to post-mortem examination. For Sci Intl 195 (2010) 93-98.  Elsevier.

Jodi A. Irwin, Jessica L. Saunier, Philip Beh, Katherine M. Strouss, Carla D. Paintner & Thomas J. Parsons, Mitochondrial DNA control region variation in a population sample from Hong Kong, China. For Sci Intl Genetics 3 (2009) e119-e125. Elsevier.

Wong P.W.C., Chan W.S.C. and Beh SL. What can we do to help and understand survivors of suicide in Hong Kong? Crisis, 2007, 28

Lee KW, Broadhurst RG, Beh SL. Triad Related Homicides in Hong Kong. Forensic Sci Int 2006, 162:183-190.

Chen YH, Chan SC, Wong WC, Chan M, Chan CW, Law YW, Beh SL, Chan KK, Cheng WY, Liu KY, Yip SF. Suicide in Hong Kong: a case control psychological autopsy study. Psychol Med 2006, 36(6):815-825.

Chan CY, Beh SL, Broadhurst RG. Homicide-suicide in Hong Kong (1989-1998). Forensic Sci Int 2003, 137(2-3):165-171.

Beh SL. In Hong Kong teaching autopsies have been championed in public mortuaries. Letters to Editor. BMJ 17 Jan 2004;328:168.

Beh SL, Rape in Hong Kong: an overview of current knowledge. J Clin Forensic Med 1998, 5:124-128.
Beh SL. Victims of Rape – Who Cares? HKJGOM 1 July 2001, 2:40-44.


Homicide followed by Suicide in Hong Kong 1989-2001: a report for the Hong Kong Lotteries Fund Advisory Committee. Centre for Criminology and The University of Hong Kong. ISBN 962-86266-2-1.

Book Chapters

Beh S.L. and Payne-James Jason,  Adult Sexual Assault, Current Practice In Forensic Medicine, Ed. John Gall , John Wiley, 95-118, ( / 2011)

Beh S.L.  Child Homicide & Child Abuse, Forensic Medicine, Ed. Chen Xinshan, Huazhong University of Science & Technology Press, ( / 2011)

Beh S.L.  Medical Issues Relevant To Restraint, Clinical Forensic Medicine - A Physician's Guide, Ed. Margaret M. Stark, Humana Press, 215-232, ( / 2011)

Beh S.L.  Asphyxia, Forensic Medicine, Ed. Chen Xinshan, Huazhong University of Science and Technolgy Press, ( / 2011)

Beh S.L.  Drowning, Forensic Medicine, Ed. Chen Xinshan, uazhong University of Science & Technology Press, ( / 2011)

Beh S.L. and Payne-James Jason.  Clinical And Legal Requirements For Age Determination In The Living, Age Estimation In The Living. The Practitioner's Guide, Eds. Sue Black, Anil Aggrawal and Jason Payne-James, Wiley-Blackwell, 30-42, ( / 2010)

S. L. Beh, Deaths, Trauma/Musculoskeletal System, Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Elsevier, ISBN 0-12-547970-0.

S. L.  Beh, Infanticide,  Encyclopedia of Death and Human Experience Sage Publication ISBN 978-1-4129-51784

Philip Beh, Cause of Death, Contemporary, Encyclopedia of Death and Human Experience Sage Publication ISBN 978-1-4129-51784

Philip Beh, Sexual Offences, Adult: Global Crime Figures and Statistics, Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Elsevier, ISBN 0-12-547970-0.

Assessing interpersonal effectiveness in group tutorials. How Assessment Supports learning. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 978-962-209-823-7.