Saturday, 13 October 2012

Emedinews:Insights on Medicolegal Issues:Cite the source of the evidence in medical literature

Medicolegal Update (Dr Sudhir Gupta, Additional Prof, Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, AIIMS) Cite the source of the evidence in medical literature For a document to serve as legitimate evidence in a trial it must exist in the public domain and the degree to which a medical document/literature/book validates the point you are making depends upon the reliability of the document. The author of a document is a witness that you are calling upon to testify. • To constitute valid medical testimony, the witness must be identified. • Conventions for citing sources are somewhat dynamic. However, at a minimum you should identify the individual, institution, or publication that authored the document and the publication date. • When it is not otherwise evident, you ought to make quick reference to the qualifications of the author to lend an air of credibility to the document. Although it is not necessary to read additional information into the records, you must be prepared to provide a complete bibliographic citation if called upon to do so by the court of law or cross lawyer.

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