The subject Forensic Medicine is part and parcel of life of every medico knowingly or unknowingly since the time a medico sets foot in the temple of Medical Education. At every step of life of a medico, each and every medico legal problem can be solved by having a sound idea of the subject. Unlike any other subject, this subject is unique and full of mystique and very less people can understand or catch the “nerve” of the subject. Since it’s bound by such mysticism, the subject has generated many myths or wrong interpretation also. Being a Forensic Specialist since last 8 years, I have been trying to bust those myths time and again. Let’s try to have a brief look!
1. Forensic Medicine deals only with dead body:
This is the most common one. Indeed, post mortem work is the foremost running, yet this is not the only work. A Forensic Medicine expert also deals with preparing medico legal reports for injury/alcoholism/rape survivor/ rape accused and alike. They are involved in giving medico legal consultancy to many Police officials, lawyers and members of the Indian judiciary system. Apart from these, they are also involved in age estimation board cases and various other expert opinion board cases involving medical negligence and alike, thereby leading any medico legal queries from the front line. Not only that, they are Expert Witness in the Court of Law for various cases like murder cases, negligence cases etc which is another roller coaster ride of excitement altogether. That’s quite the responsible and exciting role!
2. Terminal Subject:
This myth, even if partially correct but not justified altogether. With Forensic odontology, anthropology and radiology full swing being practiced in many institution, the prospects of the field is increasing day by day. It’s all about the perspective of how you explore this mystique.
3. Forensic Medicine are not for Females:
This particular point is been faced by me time and again as people are at awe, being a female how do I survive? In fact, this is most over rated myth. This subject is one of the most exciting branch for any adventure seeking person! There are many practicing female medico legal experts all over India and the world. Their contribution to this branch is outstanding. When you are helping someone to get justice as part of the Indian Judiciary system, you are neither male nor female; you are an “Expert”. I always say “It’s not the dead to be afraid of, it’s the living that we have to be aware of!”
Dr Antara DebBarma, Assistant Prof