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NCJ Number: 67219 Find in a Library
Title: MEDICO-LEGAL EXPERT - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Journal: MEDICINE, SCIENCE AND THE LAW  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:2-13
Author(s): J M CAMERON
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: LEGAL MEDICINE IS DISCUSSSED IN TERMS OF ITS ORIGINS, THE PRESENT STATE-OF-THE-ART, AND THE FUTURE IMPORTANCE OF THE SCIENCE; REMARKS FOCUS ON THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE UNITED STATES.
Abstract: FORENSIC MEDICINE, LEGAL MEDICINE, OR MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE CAN BE DEFINED AS THAT SCIENCE CONCERNED WITH THE APPLICATION OF MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE TO VARIOUS BRANCHES OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CIVIL AND CRIMINAL. THE HISTORY OF LEGAL MEDICINE DATES BACK TO EARLY EGYPT AND GREECE WHERE MEDICINE AND LAW WERE LINKED BY RELIGION, SUPERSTITION, AND MAGIC. PRIMITIVE LEGAL CODES OFTEN MERGED WITH RELIGIOUS AND SOCIAL PRECEPTS AS WELL AS LAWS OF MEDICAL CONTENT. EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DISCIPLINE WERE MADE IN ROME, GERMANY, CHINA, AND FRANCE. IN THE UNITED STATES, THE DEVELOPMENT OF LEGAL MEDICINE HAS BEEN INCONSISTENT. MEDICOLEGAL CENTERS, SUCH AS HARVARD UNIVERSITY, HAVE MADE OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS THROUGH RESEARCH AND TRAINING ACTIVITIES. HOWEVER, THE SPECIALTY OF FORENSIC PATHOLOGY IN THE UNITED STATES HAS BECOME UNDERSTAFFED IN RECENT YEARS, AND ITS OUTLOOK IS BLEAK. OF THE 350,000 LICENSED PHYSICIANS IN THE UNITED STATES, ONLY 10,000 ARE PATHOLOGISTS. IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, LEGAL MEDICINE AS AN ACADEMIC SUBJECT WAS GREATLY EMPHASIZED IN UNIVERSITIES FROM THE 1830'S THROUGH THE 1870'S. INTEREST DIMINISHED FROM ABOUT 1870 UNTIL AROUND 1950, PICKED UP THROUGH THE 1960'S, BUT AGAIN WANED IN THE EARLY 1970'S. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT IN 1980 THE NUMBER OF PROPERLY TRAINED MEDICOLEGAL EXPERTS IS RAPIDLY DECREASING AND SO ARE THE PROSPECTS OF POSTGRADUATE TRAINING. THE ONLY REMEDY IS THE PROPER EDUCATION OF FUTURE DOCTORS DURING THEIR TRAINING AS MEDICAL STUDENTS. IN ADDITION, BOTH LEGAL AND MEDICAL STUDENTS SHOULD, AS UNDERGRADUATES, ACQUIRE SOME KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINOLOGY, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY, AND SOCIAL MEDICOLEGAL PROBLEMS. POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION MUST BE EMPHASIZED DURING THE PREREGISTRATION PERIOD, THROUGH SPECIALIST TRAINING PROGRAMS, FOR THE GENERAL PRACTITIONER, AND FOR OVERSEAS STUDENTS. A LIST OF 18 REFERENCES IS PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Coroners; Forensic medicine; Higher education; United Kingdom (UK); United States of America
Note: PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS TO THE BRITISH ACADEMY OF FORENSIC SCIENCES
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67219

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