Clinical forensic medicine

From Ganfyd

Jump to: navigation, search


Clinical Forensic Medicine is that branch of medicine interacting among legal, judicial and police officials and usually involving living subjects.

The roles of a forensic physician include:

  • Determination of fitness to be detained in police custody
  • Determination of fitness to be interviewed by police or other agency
  • Determination whether or not an independent person (Appropriate Adult ) is required to ensure that the detainee's rights are preserved. This applies especially in relation to the mentally ill or otherwise vulnerable detainee
  • Determination of fitness to be charged; (the detained person must be competent to understand the charge and to respond to it)
  • Determination of fitness to be transferred to another place of custody or court
  • Assessment of intoxication by, and/or withdrawal from, alcohol or other drugs
  • Assessment of a person's fitness to drive a motor vehicle, especially related to intoxication; and collection of relevant forensic samples, commonly blood, for analysis
  • Intimate body searches of detainees for controlled drugs or other contraband
  • Examination, interpretation and documentation of injuries; of detainees, police officers injured in the line of duty and complainants of assault
  • Diagnosis of death and preliminary advice at the scene of an unexpected death
  • Examination of, and collection of forensic samples from, complainants and alleged perpetrators of sexual assault
  • Giving evidence or otherwise assisting the courts

Much of this work necessarily takes place in custody suites in police stations, but may on occasion be in hospital, if e.g. a driver has been brought there from an accident scene and blood testing for drugs/alcohol is required, (such forensic sampling is never the responsibility of hospital staff), or in "Rape Sympathy Suites".

Request for reports on patient's injuries

Doctors may be asked to provide a report on injuries suffered by their patients for medicolegal purposes. This is not an NHS duty. Doctors are advised to consult their defence organisation. See also Reports for the police.

External links