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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67457 Find in a Library
Title: MEDICAL EXPERTISE ON PRISONERS
Journal: BULLETIN MEDECINE LEGALE TOXICOLOGIE  Volume:22  Issue:4  Dated:(JULY/AUGUST 1979)  Pages:441-448
Author(s): J FINELTAIN
Corporate Author: Masson et Compagnie
France
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Masson et Compagnie
Paris, France
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: PROBLEMS FACING FRENCH MEDICAL EXPERT WITNESSES IN ESTABLISHING A PRISONER'S PHYSICAL OR MENTAL CONDITION ARE DISCUSSED AND SOLUTIONS ARE SUGGESTED.
Abstract: MEDICAL EVALUATIONS DURING PRETRIAL DETENTION AND IMPRISONMENT ARE USED TO DETERMINE THE PRISONER'S MENTAL CONDITION AND HIS PHYSICAL CAPABILITY TO REMAIN IN A CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION. MEDICAL EXPERT WITNESSES CAN BE DEMANDED BY THE INDIVIDUAL'S ATTORNEY, THE PROSECUTOR, THE INVESTIGATING MAGISTRATE, AND COURT MEMBERS. IN FRANCE, EVERY MEDICAL DOCTOR IS OBLIGATED TO FURNISH A MEDICAL EVALUATION, AND A LIST OF DIFFERENT MEDICAL EXPERT WITNESSES IS PUBLISHED ANNUALLY FOR COURT USE. HOWEVER, THE TESTIMONY OF MEDICAL EXPERT WITNESSES IN COURT RAISES NUMEROUS PROBLEMS. THE COURT MEMBERS ARE SOMETIMES UNABLE TO FOLLOW THE WITNESS' MEDICAL JARGON; MORE FREQUENT CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN COURT MEMBERS AND MEDICAL EXPERTS CONCERNING TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WOULD THEREFORE BE DESIRABLE. THE PRISONER WITH THE HELP OF AN ATTORNEY MAY DECEIVE A DOCTOR INEXPERIENCED IN PRISON PATHOLOGY; PHYSICIANS HAVING PREVIOUS PRISON EXPERIENCE OR TRAINING SHOULD THEREFORE BE PREFERRED AS EXPERT WITNESSES. ALSO, THE OFFICIAL PRISON DOCTOR IS BOUND BY HIS PROFESSIONAL OATH AND CANNOT COMMUNICATE HIS OWN VALUABLE EXPERIENCES WITH THE PRISONER TO THE MEDICAL EXPERT; THEREFORE, ALL PRISONERS' RECORDS SHOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE OUTSIDE EXPERT. BECAUSE THE EXPERT IS CONSIDERED RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS TESTIMONY AND IS THEREFORE CONSTANTLY EXPOSED TO PUBLIC CRITICISM; THE EXPERT MUST EXERCISE CAUTION IN MAKING A JUDGMENT. THE ARTICLE INCLUDES 14 REFERENCES. --IN FRENCH. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Expert witnesses; France; Medical evaluation; Medicolegal considerations; Psychological evaluation
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67457

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