Definition of Forensic Medicine

Forensic medicine or forensic science is a science that deals with concerns about human life in the course of criminal investigations.

Forensic medicine helps legal persons in giving decision on the status of the death, conducting the autopsy of corpse, determining legal capacity and liability, responding to the questions of the courts in the case of injuries or killing etc. Specialists of the forensic science are responsible for reporting to the courts and prosecutors by carrying out necessary examinations.

Branches of Forensic Medicine

Branches of Forensic Medicine are as follows:

1) Death 5) Wounds and bruises 9) Infanticide
2) Autopsy 6) Pregnancy 10) Poisoning
3) Sudden death 7) Birth 12) Forensic psychiatry
4) Smothering 8) Child abduction

History of Forensic Medicine

Since ancient times, physicians have been referred to law and criminal cases. First examples of written laws in the history of humankind  had provisions for judicial jurisprudence. To illustrate, in Roman law, physicians had legally binding power in matters concerning forensic medicine.

Forensic medicine started to be implemented in France as a systematic discipline of science. In 1650s, forensic medicine was taught at the University of Leipzig. The first ever book about forensic medicine was published by Samuel Farr in 1788 in United Kingdom.

Practice of Forensic Medicine

The forensic medicine is implemented as a profession all around the world; yet, there are various organizational and legal approaches performance of it. In some countries, forensic medicine could only be performed by  special public administrations which are mostly semi-independent bodies operating under the authority of Ministry of Justice. On the other hand, some other countries have the system of expert witnesses.


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