March 11, 2008

Need to train medical undergraduates in more integrated manner

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stressed the need to train medical undergraduates in a more integrated manner to enable them perform qualitative medico-legal functions, necessary for invaluable dispensation of justice.

Disposing a criminal original petition filed by a woman, seeking a CB-CID investigation into the death of her son, working in a canteen in Kattankolathur near Kancheepuram, Justice S Palanivelu said the bulk of medico legal work in India was still handled by government medical officers, unlike in developed nations. So they should be trained better.

He said medical education should render appreciable background and exposure in forensic medicine.Theoretical know how should be blended with practical application. Medico-legal studies should be introduced in the curriculum, he said.

The directorate of medical sciences and directorate of medical education could periodically train medical officers on forensic medicine to update their efficiency. A standardised format of noting down injuries and their signs could be evolve evolved to follow a uniform procedure to give certificates.

The judge rejected her plea to exhume the body,but directed CB-CID to conduct further investigations and file a final report, getting the final opinion of medical officers on the time of death, not mentioned in the post mortem report.

The lady said her son was found hanging from a tree branch, wearing a new dress without creases and alleged he was tortured by his employer and co workers. There was no reason for him to commit suicide, as registered by police and prayed that the case be transferred to the CB-CID

The judge said taluk hospital doctors should undergo one week training in forensic science department and sufficient infrastructure should be provided at mortuaries where autospies are held. Since adequate exposure to preservation techniques was the need of the hour, procedures for handling should be codified. While preparing certificates,medical officers should ensure that written findings were legible. The present post-mortem certificate format could be modified to enable the doctor furnishing all his findings in detail with reference to each organ and region.

House surgeons should be posted in the forensic department for reasonable period to better understand the subject. The number of PG seats in forensic medicine should be increased He also criticised the police for trying to wrap up the case in a short period even when the final opinion was awaited.The post mortem report did not reveal the time of death.A ticklish issue could not be resolved on the stength of an incomplete autospy report, the Judge said.

Besides the doctor said the deceased had ligature marks in the middle of the neck which meant that the victim had been attacked from behind, he said.


Neuro Information said...

Honestly, do u think it is lack of training of medicos that caused all this? The judge has to be particularly naive to think so! Anyway, the MBBS curriculum doesn't train us to perform autopsies, one can only learn that by doing a PG course! Even after that one would need to have several years of supervised experience before one can be considered a real expert! The MBBS exposure is merely for broad-based knowledge. In the social situation depicted, it is hardly the lack of expertise of the forensic doctor that should be blamed. This is a case of lock-up death, and there are enough vested interests trying to hush-up such a case to ensure that the doctor doesn't give an incriminating report (a bit of bribing, arm-twisting, or both). V r always impractical like this judge when we react to such situations. For example, people want death penalty for murder, because they hope that would deter future murderers-to-be. World over, the deterrent effect of such drastic punishments is very low; rather, it is by ensuring speedy justice and implementation of existing laws that one is likely to deter criminals (rather than by quantum of punishment). Similarly, the problem in this situation is not that the doctors are not adequately trained (which may or may not be true); the problem is that police and politicians are allowed to get away with such crimes, and they silence any would-be whistle-blowers (the forensic expert in this case) by bribing or arm-twisting.I am not talking about solutions here, but only pointing out the fallacy in the statements made in the esteemed court.

Prahalathan said...




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