Introduction to Forensic Medicine
|First medico-legal autopsy done by Bartolomeo De Varignana: Italy (1302)
|First judicial autopsy: Paris (1562)
The first book on forensic medicine was written by Fortunado Fedele (Italy):1602
The first medical autopsy was compulsory: 1800 (1846)
|Forensic= forums of or used in the court of law.
The term “Forensic” comes from the place “Forum”. The Roman marketplace where the lawyer did their business in ancient times.
There are two distinct aspects of the law-medicine relationship:
1) Forensic medicine, and
2) Medical jurisprudence
Forensic Medicine (Forensic - forums of or used in Courts of law)
Forensic or legal medicine deals with the application of medical and paramedical knowledge to aid in the administration of justice.
Some examples are: applying medical knowledge in deciding cases of injuries, murder, suicide, accidents, sexual offenses, poisoning, etc.
In short, it deals with medical aspects of the law.
Forensic medicine is also known as:
1. State medicine (India)
2. Legal medicine (Europe)
Scope of forensic medicine: (Ref-Lecture)
Q. Why doctors of all categories should have a fair knowledge about forensic medicine? (Ref-Lecture)- Objectives of forensic medicine:
|Application of medical knowledge in legal matters both civil and criminal cases.
|Examination of various trauma, injury and keeping medico-legal knowledge regarding the cause and nature of injury and death.
|Helps in the judicial investigation of sudden, unexpected, suspicious, criminal death.
|Identification of poison, person by different examination using medical knowledge and helps in crime investigation.
Doctors of all categories should have a fair knowledge about forensic medicine because:
|Doctors treat patients irrespective of origin. So, they get some victims of criminal acts to treat. Gynecology doctors treat criminal abortion, surgeons treat criminal wounds and physicians treat chemical poisoning. In all cases, the doctors will be required to appear as expert witnesses in the court of law. All the doctors are chief sources of evidence upon which legal decisions are made. Their effective use in the administration of justice is absolutely necessary for a peaceful and orderly society. Forensic medicine prepares the doctors to face such cases with efficacy.
|A doctor of any specialty may be asked at any time to give his medico-legal opinion in case of death. Forensic medicine helps the doctor in such cases.
|Fair knowledge is also needed to safeguard a doctor himself from criminal cases.
|A doctor comes to know his own code of conduct that is what to do and what not through forensic medicine.
Medical jurisprudence (juris= law; prudentia = knowledge)
Medical jurisprudence deals with the legal responsibilities of the physician with particular reference to those arising from physician-patient relationships, such as medical negligence cases, consent, rights, and duties of doctors, serious professional misconduct, medical ethics, etc.
In short, it deals with legal aspects of the practice of medicine.
It deals with the legal responsibilities of the doctors with particular references to those arising from:
- Doctor-Patient relationship
- Doctor-doctor relationship
- Doctor-student relationship
- Doctor-state relationship
- Medical negligence case
- Right and duties of the doctor
- Professional infamous conduct
Difference between forensic medicine and medical jurisprudence (Lecture)
|It deals with the medical aspects of the law.
||It deals with the legal aspects of medical practice.
|It brings the medical man into contact with the court of law.
||It brings the relationship between doctor and patient and also doctor and society.
|It deals with the application of medical and paramedical scientific knowledge in the administration of justice.
||It deals with the legal responsibilities of the doctor with particular references to those arising from:
Medical negligence case
|Have some sub-divisions.
||No such subdivision
|It can be applied to all.
It can be applied only to the doctor.
Branches of forensic medicine (Lecture)
||It deals with firearms ammunition and the problems arising from their use.
||It deals with crimes and criminals.
||It deals with a fingerprint system for the identification of the individual.
||It deals with preparing a dead body.
||It deals with the study of bones.
||It deals with the medico-legal aspects of the study of teeth.
||It deals with the medico-legal aspects of normal and abnormal deliveries.
||It deals with medical and pathological principles in determining the causes and manner of death.
||It deals with the application of psychiatry for legal purposes.
||It deals with x-ray examination for determining age in various criminal cases, detection of fetus, missile, diagnosis of head injury, lives of birth, etc.
||It deals with the examination of blood and seminal staining to detect crime.
||It deals with the medical and legal aspects of death.
||It deals with the comprehensive study of poison.
Mnemonic: BCD NOOO PPRSTT
Forensic Pathology deals with the study and application of the effects of violence or unnatural disease in its various forms in or on the human body, in determining the cause and manner of death in case of violence, suspicious, unexplained, unexpected, sudden, and medically unattended deaths.
Medical ethics deals with the moral principles which should guide members of the medical profession in their dealings with each other, their patients, and the State.
Medical etiquette deals with the conventional laws of courtesy observed between members of the medical profession.
A doctor should behave with his colleagues as he would have them behave with himself.
A doctor should not criticize or denigrate the professional ability of another doctor while dealing with a patient
||Normal, ordinary, following the accepted way (which follows accepted standard of behavior)