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Friday, November 02, 2007

Medico-legal curriculum draft release today

Bangalore: Only nine per cent of doctors know that there is a protocol introduced by National Human Rights Commission on how a post-mortem should be conducted. Less than 10 per cent of medical professionals are well-versed in preparing an age estimation certificate for medico-legal cases.

No wonder then that very few doctors in the country have adequate knowledge about recording evidence in a medico-legal case and presenting it before a court of law.

Addressing this need, the Ministry of Justice and United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), under the “Strengthening Access to Justice in India” programme has entrusted the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement to take the lead in restructuring the medico-legal curriculum (Forensic Medicine and Toxicology) for MBBS students in India.

The draft curriculum will be released here on Friday at a workshop for doctors.

Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, Flt. Lt. M.A. Balasubramanya, Secretary of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, a voluntary organisation which has taken the initiative to train doctors across the country to empower them for holistic and humane management of medico-legal cases, said the present medico-legal curriculum had not been revised since 1997.

“The curriculum has been developed by an expert panel headed by former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachalaiah, after a field study of knowledge, attitude, skills and practice among doctors and medical students. The panel includes judges, forensic medicine experts and police personnel,” Dr. Balasubramanya said. He added that the organisation had already trained around 900 doctors across the country in dealing sensitively with medico-legal cases and to look at them with a social perspective. P.K. Devdas, one of the experts in the panel and head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at Victoria Hospital, said the curriculum has to be approved by the Medical Council of India and then by the Central Government and may be adopted by 2009.


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