Medical Malpractice

medical jurisprudence

medical jurisprudence or forensic medicine, the application of medical science to legal problems. It is typically involved in cases concerning blood relationship, mental illness, injury, or death resulting from violence. Autopsy (see post-mortem examination) is often used to determine the cause of death, particularly in cases where foul play is suspected. Post-mortem examination can determine not only the immediate agent of death (e.g. gunshot wound, poison), but may also yield important contextual information, such as how long the person has been dead, which can help trace the killing. Forensic medicine has also become increasingly important in cases involving rape. Modern techniques use such specimens as semen, blood, and hair samples of the criminal found in the victim's bodies, which can be compared to the defendant's genetic makeup through a technique known as DNA fingerprinting; this technique may also be used to identify the body of a victim. The establishment of serious mental illness by a licensed psychologist can be used in demonstrating incompetency to stand trial, a technique which may be used in the insanity defense (see insanity), albeit infrequently.

See C. C. Malik, A Short Textbook of Medical Jurisprudence (1985); C. Wecht, ed., Legal Medicine (1987).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Unhealed Wounds: Medical Malpractice in the Twentieth Century
Neal C. Hogan.
LFB Scholarly, 2003
Money, Medicine, and Malpractice in American Society
Iain Hay.
Praeger Publishers, 1992
The Practice of Uncertainty: Voices of Physicians and Patients in Medical Malpractice Claims
Stephen L. Fielding.
Auburn House, 1999
Our Hands Are Tied: Legal Tensions and Medical Ethics
Marshall B. Kapp.
Auburn House, 1998
Human Error in Medicine
Marilyn Sue Bogner.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994
Insuring Medical Malpractice
Frank A. Sloan; Randall R. Bovbjerg; Penny B. Githens.
Oxford University Press, 1991
The Doctors' Big Squeeze: Huge Increases in Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates Are Driving Doctors out of Business. What's the Answer?
Boulard, Garry.
State Legislatures, Vol. 28, No. 10, December 2002
Medical Malpractice: A Comprehensive Analysis
Vasanthakumar N. Bhat.
Auburn House, 2001
More Hippocrates, Less Hypocrisy: "Early Offers" as a Means of Implementing the Institute of Medicine's Recommendations on Malpractice Law
O'Connell, Jeffrey; Bryan, Patrick B.
Journal of Law and Health, Vol. 15, No. 1, Spring 2000
Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Conception: A Parent's Need for a Cause of Action
Sullivan, Mary B.
Journal of Law and Health, Vol. 15, No. 1, Spring 2000
"Calling Dr. Love": The Physician-Patient Sexual Relationship as Grounds for Medical Malpractice - Society Pays While the Doctor and Patient Play
Puglise, Scott M.
Journal of Law and Health, Vol. 14, No. 2, Summer 1999
Male and Female Recoveries in Medical Malpractice Cases
Simmons, Walter; Emanuele, Rosemarie.
Review of Social Economy, Vol. 62, No. 1, March 2004
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