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NCJ Number: 51301 Find in a Library
Title: MEDICAL DETECTIVE
Journal: TRIAL  Volume:14  Issue:10  Dated:(OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:23-25,46
Author(s): J R FEEGEL
Corporate Author: Assoc of Trial Lawyers of America
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Assoc of Trial Lawyers of America
Washington, DC 20007
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE EVOLUTION OF THE WORK OF THE WELL-TRAINED MEDICAL EXAMINER AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THAT OF THE LAY CORONER IS TRACED, AND THE TYPE OF INFORMATION THAT THE MODERN MEDICAL EXAMINER CAN PROVIDE AN ATTORNEY IS INDICATED.
Abstract: WHILE A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, THE COUNTY CORONER WAS AN ELECTED LAYMAN WITH LITTLE OR NO TRAINING IN MEDICINE OR SCIENCE, THE MODERN MEDICAL EXAMINER, WHOSE JOB DESCRIPTION ROUGHLY PARALLELS THAT OF THE EARLIER CORONER, IS A FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, WHO, IN ADDITION TO BEING A GRADUATE OF A MEDICAL SCHOOL, HAS RECEIVED ADDITIONAL TRAINING IN POLICE SCIENCE, POISON DETECTION, SPECIALIZED INVESTIGATION INTO SUSPICIOUS OR VIOLENT DEATHS, AND SOME ASPECTS OF LAW. THE MEDICAL EXAMINER IN ALL JURISDICTIONS IS GENERALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING AND ASSEMBLING MEDICAL FACTS IN CASES WHERE DEATH IS DUE TO VIOLENCE, ACCIDENT, SUICIDE, POISONING, CRIMINAL ABORTION, OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS, WHILE UNDER ARREST OR IN JAIL, WHILE ON THE JOB, UNDER SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES, WHEN UNATTENDED BY A PHYSICIAN, DUE TO A DISEASE CONSTITUTING A THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH, OR A SUDDEN DEATH WHEN THE VICTIM WAS IN APPARENTLY GOOD HEALTH. THE MEDICAL EXAMINER'S OFFICE THUS BECOMES A CLEARINGHOUSE FOR ALL MEDICAL INFORMATION ON THESE TYPES OF DEATH CASES. THE MEDICAL EXAMINER'S REPORTS ARE GENERALLY REGARDED AS PUBLIC DOCUMENTS, ACCESSIBLE TO ANY WHO WISH THE INFORMATION. IT IS ADVISED THAT ATTORNEYS SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE THOROUGH AND SCIENTIFIC REPORTS IN APPROPRIATE CASES. WHILE A REQUEST BY MAIL FOR INFORMATION FROM MEDICAL EXAMINER FILES MAY BE SUFFICIENT FOR SOME ATTORNEYS IN GIVEN INSTANCES, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE ATTORNEY HAVE A PLANNED INTERVIEW WITH THE MEDICAL EXAMINER AS A MEANS OF ACQUIRING MORE INFORMATION WITH THE BENEFIT OF INTERPRETIVE COMMENTS. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Coroners; Public information
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51301

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