Medical jurisprudence

Jun 30th, 2015
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Stanford University
Course: General Education
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Medical jurisprudence is a science of applying medical facts to legal problems. Routine tasks include filling out birth and death certificates, deciding insurance eligibility, and reporting infectious disease. Perhaps more significant is medical testimony in court.

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Medical jurisprudenceis a branch of medicine that involves the study and application of medical knowledge in the legal field. Becausemodern medicineis a legal creation andmedico-legalcases involvingdeath,rape,paternityetc. require a medical practitioner to produce evidence and appear as an expert witness, these two fields have traditionally been inter-dependent.Forensic medicine is a narrower field that involves collection and analysis of medical evidence (samples) to produce objective information for use in the legal system.Medical jurisprudence includes:1. questions of the legal andethical dutiesof physicians;2. questions affecting the civil rights of individuals with respect tomedicine; and3. medicolegal assessment of injuries to the person.Under the second heading there are many aspects, including (but not limited to):(a) questions ofcompetenceorsanityin civil or criminal proceedings;(b) questions of competence ofminorsin matters affecting their own health; and(c) questions of lawful fitness or safety to drive a motor vehicle, pilot an aeroplane, usescuba gear, play certain sports, or to join certain occupations.Under the third h

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