Medico Legal
Medico Legal

Medico legal is something that involves both medical and legal aspects, mainly: Medical jurisprudence, a branch of medicine. Medical law, a branch of law. Medico legal can be defined as a case of injury or ailment, etc., in which investigations by the law-enforcing agencies are essential to fix the responsibility regarding the causation of the injury or ailment. In simple language it is a medical case with legal implications for the attending doctor where the attending doctor, after eliciting history and examining the patient, thinks that some investigation by law enforcement agencies is essential . Or a legal case requiring medical expertise when brought by the police for examination.

A medico legal case is where a person is injured or harmed in any way and needs medical attention for it. Injury cases which suggest some criminal offense. Burn injuries, vehicular accidents (includes railways and other modes of transport), suspected homicide/murder, poisoning, sexual assault and criminal abortionare classified as medico legal cases.  Patient who is unconscious due to unknown reasons, brought dead or die shortly after admissionwithout proper medical documents to indicate cause of death also come under its purview.  Hospital deaths where the patient dies suddenly due to administration of medication or a fall within the hospital, when he is in the ICU or during surgery can also be classified under medico legal cases. A medical autopsy has to be ordered under all the above circumstances.

The legal duty of the treating doctor to report it to the nearest police station immediately after completing primary lifesaving medical care. This is in accordance with Section 39 of Criminal Procedure Code of India. The idea is to initiate legal proceeding at the earliest is so that maximum evidence can be collected by the police officer.  Quick action by the police also helps to avoid the destruction of evidence by the treating physician.


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