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Forensic Medicine - Medical

Forensic Medicine is defined as application of medical knowledge in the court of law or to help in criminal justice administration. In the broad sense (the specific sense of identifying causes of death is a matter of forensic pathology), now embraces all matters which may bring the physician into contact with the law. It thus includes (1), questions of the legal and ethical duties of physicians; (2), questions affecting the civil rights of individuals with respect to medicine; and (3), medico legal assessment of injuries to the person. Under the second heading there are many aspects, including (but not limited to): (a), questions of competence or sanity in civil or criminal proceedings; (b), questions of competence of minors in matters affecting their own health; and (c), questions of lawful fitness or safety to drive a motor vehicle, pilot an aero plane, use scuba gear, play certain sport, or to join certain occupations. Under the third heading, there are also many aspects, including (but not limited to): (a) assessment of illness or injuries that may be work-related (see workers' compensation or occupational safety and health) or otherwise compensable; (b) assessment of injuries of minors that may relate to neglect or abuse; and (c), certification of death or else the assessment of possible causes of death — this is the falsely narrow meaning of forensic medicine as commonly understood.

Though relatively few are aware of it, from birth to death almost every aspect of life in a modern western society is touched by medical jurisprudence.