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Introduction to Forensic Medicine and its role in the administration of justice

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Title: Introduction to Forensic Medicine and its role in the administration of justice


1
Introduction to Forensic Medicine and its role in
the administration of justice
  • Dr A Tay

2
Forensic Medicine
  • The term Forensic Medicine means the application
    of medical knowledge (all branches of medicine
    including laboratory examinations) for the
    administration of law and justice

3
  • Forensic comes from the Latin word forensis
    meaning forum.
  • During the time of the Romans, a criminal charge
    meant presenting the case before a group of
    public individuals

4
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5
All the Forensics
  • forensic pathology,
  • forensic DNA tests,
  • forensic toxicology,
  • criminal toxicology,
  • forensic autopsy

6
  • Forensic entomology deals with the examination of
    insects in, on, and around human remains to
    assist in determination of time or location of
    death. It is also possible to determine if the
    body was moved after death.
  • Forensic meteorology is a site specific analysis
    of past weather conditions for a point of loss
  • Forensic geology deals with trace evidence in the
    form of soils, minerals and petroleums
  • Forensic odontology is the study of the
    uniqueness of dentition better known as the study
    of teeth.
  • Forensic photography is the art of producing an
    accurate photographic reproduction of a crime
    scene for the benefit of a court.
  • Forensic toxicology is the study of the effect of
    drugs and poisons on/in the human body.
  • Forensic firearms examination is the science
    dealing with the investigation of use of firearms
    and ammunition

7
  • The term Forensic Science means the application
    of the knowledge of science for the purposes of
    law and justice. The term includes the
    application of all sciences such as physics,
    chemistry, biology
  • Almost all branches of science can help in the
    administration of justice

8
  • The term Clinical Forensic Medicine involves an
    application of clinical methods for the
    administration of justice.
  • e.g. battered baby
  • e.g.live rape victim

9
  • Forensic pathology
  • It is the application of the knowledge of
    pathology for the administration of justice.
  • Post-mortem examinations, deducing the cause of
    death by looking at the state of internal organs,
    estimating the cause of death by doing
    histo-pathology of internal organs, etc. involves
    a thorough knowledge of pathology

10
Medical Jurisprudence
  • Medical jurisprudence means legal aspects of
    practice of medicine.
  • For instance, a physician while prescribing
    medicines for his patients is guided by certain
    rules and regulations.
  • If he is negligent towards his patients, he may
    have to face the law.
  • All the rules and regulations which guide a
    physician during his practice come under medical
    jurisprudence

11
Medical Ethics
  • Medical ethics deal with the moral principles
    which should guide members of medical profession
    in their dealings with one another, with their
    patients and with their State. For instance a
    doctor is not expected to refuse treatment to a
    patient on religious grounds.

12
Medical etiquette
  • Medical etiquette deals with the conventional
    laws and customs of courtesy observed between
    members of the medical profession.
  • For instance, a doctor is not expected to charge
    for giving medical advice and/or medicines to
    another doctor.
  • He is also expected to see him out of turn. If he
    follows these guidelines, he is said to have
    observed proper medical etiquette

13
Case Study
14
The autopsy
  • Autopsy was done on the dead body of the thirty
    years old lady, who was noticed hanging from the
    bough of a keekar tree in a forest. The
    deceased was a divorced lady.
  • A shawl was tied around her neck, which belonged
    to the deceased.
  • As a slip-noose was used, ligature was in contact
    with the skin throughout the full circumference
    of the neck.

15
The cause of Death
  • There was mark of saliva dribbling from the left
    angle of her mouth. Except over the uppermost
    part of the right side of the neck ligature mark
    was faint and deficient on the back and sides. It
    was believed to correspond to the ligature
    material as soft as shawl. There was evidence of
    bruising on and around carotid vessels on the
    right side.
  • She had abrasions on the upper front of her both
    legs and also over right side lower outer front
    of the abdomen. There was no bony injury in the
    air passages like the fracture or dislocation of
    the hyoid or thyroid indicative of manual
    strangulation.
  • Cause of death by all standards was hanging.

16
The missing earrings
  • Doubt of homicide gained footings because father
    of the deceased held that earrings, that the
    deceased was always wearing, were missing from
    her ears. So much so the rumor of missing earring
    had converted in to news of recovery and seemed
    to have reached police ears while autopsy was
    going on.
  • Police expected autopsy doctors to provide some
    vital clues regarding the nature of hanging.
    Dismissing earrings based homicide theory autopsy
    team apprised police, true her ears were without
    any earring but there was no fresh or recent
    injury in her ears.
  • Ligature mark was believed to be the result of
    hanging, from a low point, for little period and
    in such a position that her legs were touching
    the ground. How could the body examination
    exclude that she could not and did not hang
    herself still appeared mysterious to the autopsy
    team

17
The Recovery of new evidence
  • Absence of earring in the ears of the deceased
    was not given much credence till it was recovered
    from the killers.
  • Villagers handed over two boys to the police who
    were found selling the earrings of the deceased.

18
The confession
  • They confessed that one of them raped her. They
    then rendered her unconscious during throttling.
  • They also confessed of having created a scene of
    hanging. According to them in her efforts to
    escape she even fell and sustained some injuries
    on the front of her legs. Just because she
    removed her earrings herself to offer them for
    letting her go there was no injury on her ears.
  • They suspended her for two reasons. First they
    had doubt that she had not died and was still
    alive. They were so skeptical about her death
    that even after hanging her, one of them came
    back to the scene after sometime to make sure
    that she was really dead.
  • Another reason for hanging her, they told, was
    that they knew by creating a scene of hanging,
    even if she was noticed no one would suspect
    them.
  • A divorced young lady in the village would have
    several reasons to commit suicide.

19
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