Application of medical knowledge in law and legal practice though may sound absurd, but in realty is a highly used phenomenon. In fact, criminology and medical science go hand-in-hand.
Knowledge of Law and Medicine simultaneously are used in areas of forensic science, disputes arising from medical negligence and also those from various motor accident claim cases.
In case of forensic science, most of us are aware of the term “post mortem” which is often used in cases of unnatural deaths. A post mortem report is entirely a medical process where the doctor ascertains the reason/s of death of the person concerned. If the post mortem report suggests any foul play behind the death of the person, the police will initiate processes of investigation as prescribed in books of law. So, the subsequent legal process is entirely dependent on the report given by the medical expert. Further, a post mortem report also reveals the time, nature and other aspects related to the death which forms the base of any subsequent investigation.
Medical negligence, these days, is of great importance and has opened a brand new field in litigation. Errors committed by any medical practitioner in course of a treatment or operation which may result in the death/physical damage of the patient will entitle such patient compensation/damages from the concerned doctor/authority.This process also involves questions of law and medicine,to be answered and determined during the course of trial.
Motor accident too is a very common incident in everyday life. In big metros all over the world one can hardly imagine a day where there is no reported case of an accident wherein any person is either injured or has succumbed to the injuries.The claims arising out of such incidents also involve questions of law, which are to be determined at the time of hearing of such cases. Here too, the quantum of injury has to be ascertained by a medical practitioner, who will apply his expertise to submit a report to the court and compensation to the injured/ deceased person will be ordered by such court on the basis of the degree of injury as incorporated in the medical report issued by the medical practitioner.So, though a legal process, but it involves a lot of medical details for its final determination.
There are plentyof other instances where application of law and medicine go simultaneously and with the develpoment of technology, application of forensic and other related sciences will find more relevence in legal investigations and trial. It can , thus, be said that modern day lawyers need to have some knowledge of medical sciences and modern day doctors should be comfortable with some idea of law and litigation.