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February 14, 1903


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1903;XL(7):442-444. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490070028001f

RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEDICOLEGAL EXAMINATIONS.  The legal aspect of postmortem examinations and reports of cases involving inheritance, crime and insurance entails responsibility second to none allotted to man in his relation to his fellow beings. The evidence elicited by medicolegal examination may very properly be regarded as the basis on which conviction or acquittal will rest in criminal cases, and the liberty or life of the defendant at bar, in many instances, is wholly in the hands of the pathologist.Admitting the above propositions as true, the necessity of care, painstaking and thoroughness in the prosecution of this work is equally patent to physician and jurist. We are frequently asked, not only to ascertain the cause of death, but to actually fix responsibility for same. This is often difficult from the evidence at hand and occasionally impossible, although a succinct account of the antecedents of the injury is before

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