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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98573 Find in a Library
Title: Doctors and the Courts Symposium
Journal: Medicine, Science and the Law  Volume:25  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1985)  Pages:81-126
Corporate Author: British Acad of Forensic Sciences
Dept of Forensic Medicine
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 46
Sponsoring Agency: British Acad of Forensic Sciences
London, E1 2AD, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: These papers presented at the 1985 British Doctors and the Courts Symposium consider aspects of developing medical evidence in a court case, the issue of confidentiality in preparing medical reports for the court, medical evidence in the coroner's court, guidance for the expert witness, and the role of counsel in examining expert witnesses.
Abstract: An attorney discusses various aspects of the development of medical evidence in preparing a court case, including the logistics of getting a medical report and scheduling doctors to testify. Other issues discussed in this paper are identifying the medical expertise appropirate for a given case and the parameters of the medical report. A paper on confidentiality and the medical report notes that under British law, doctors have no privilege from disclosing patients' confidences in court, so long as the judge considers the information relevant to resolving the case. The presenter, however, appeals for both attorneys and doctors to try and limit the damage this may cause the doctor-patient relationship; suggestions indicate how to do this. A paper on medical evidence presented in the coroner's court reviews British law covering such proceedings, issues to be addressed by the coroner in the hearing, the substance of the medical testimony in an inquest, and whether or not witnesses should be legally represented. A discussion of the expert witness focuses on the qualities required in such a witness and the problems and dilemmas that may be encountered by the expert witness, particularly a pathologist testifying on the circumstances of a death. The concluding paper explains the role of counsel in examining expert witnesses on the stand. Symposium questions and answers follow each paper.
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Coroners; Expert witnesses; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Legal privacy protection; Medicolegal considerations; Privileged communications; Psychiatric testimony; Workshops and seminars
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