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Book and Media Reviews
January 4, 2006

Forensic Medicine

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;295(1):99. doi:10.1001/jama.295.1.99-a

The four-volume Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine is a major undertaking, representing a breakthrough in encompassing forensic medicine, legal medicine, the forensic sciences, and related fields. In delineating the interactions between medicine and the law, it is a pioneering work.

Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine covers the gamut of forensic and legal medicine and, in essence, is a complete library of the forensic sciences, including odontology, anthropology, toxicology, entomology, criminalistics, and forensic psychiatry. It also includes legal and technical issues, as well as health care, human rights, and ethics regarding both victims and perpetrators. Subtopics are endless and, to name a few, include the crime scene, DNA profiling, the various abuses suffered by children, police guidelines on postmortem examinations, prints (finger, palm, foot, face, and ear), prions, positional asphyxia, torture, ritualistic crimes, brain death, forensic psychiatry, war crimes, religious beliefs and atheism, various types of traumatic deaths, and decomposition patterns and rates. Many of the references will also have relevance for police, judicial, legal, and other investigative authorities in both providing and collating information.

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