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Medicine and the Law$
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K. Kannan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198082880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082880.001.0001

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Doctors in Court

Doctors in Court

Chapter:
(p.239) 4 Doctors in Court
Source:
Medicine and the Law
Author(s):

K. Kannan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082880.003.0005

Doctors appearance in courts could be in three different situations: as an expert witness to support a medical opinion already secured or to explain a medical condition of a party or witness in litigation, both civil and criminal, as respondent in actions complaining of medical negligence or as accused in a criminal case for commission of offences under one or other penal laws or a medical professional acquiring a law degree wishing to pursue practice as a lawyer. Some of the age old practices of adopting ‘the finger test’ for a rape victim to suggest that the victim was habituated to sex are adversely commented as degrading exercises and the doctor shall know that sexual assault is not a medical phenomenon but a fact proved like in any other case. Enactments dealing with organ transplant, sex testing, medical termination, drugs, and cosmetics licensing, etc. contain penal provisions that trigger scope for action against erring doctors.

Keywords:   Doctors’ role in courts, medical certificate, medical opinion, assessment of mental condition, disability assessment, medical negligence, paternity testing, doctor as lawyer

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