Paolo Zacchia (1584-1659) was the personal physician of the popes Innocent X and Alexander VII, legal advisor to the Rota Romana and head of the health system in the Papal States. His most important work, written in Latin, is entitled "Quaestiones Medico-Legales" and was published in 9 volumes between 1621 and 1651. Even after Zacchia's death comprehensive reprints were published at several places up to the late 18th century. Zacchia covered all the medicolegal issues of his time including the problem of "malpractice" and medical ethics. He is rightly considered an outstanding representative of his profession, whose "Quaestiones Medico-Legales" gave legal medicine its name. Paolo Zacchia (1584-1659) was one of the fathers of forensic medicine and social hygiene, which were combined in his time.
Message of the Chair
It is a satisfying journey for our department as we handled a big spectrum of medical jurisprudence duties, of which some were high profile. The department faculty are seen handling these duties with great sense of perseverance, honesty and courage. On the other part our graduate and postgraduate teaching & training programs were vibrant and encouraging. Our graduate students have cleared the boards with consistency and high grades.
Medico-Legal and Jurisprudence Services
- The Department has a full time autopsy service. The head of the department doubles as the District Police Surgeon and does the management of Conducting Autopsies on the Medico Legal Cases sent for Post Mortem by the Investigating Police Officers and the Executive Magistrates. The department is also requisitioned for Autopsies on the ‘Exhumation Cases’ as requested by the Executive Magistrates. Beyond these duties the department also engages in Medical Jurisprudence pertaining to
- Examining the Sexual Offence Cases sent by the Courts of Law and issue of the necessary Certificates
- Examining the Cases sent by the Courts of Law and issue of the necessary Age Certificates
- Conducting Spot Post Mortems as and when the conditions warrant, as per the request of the Investigating Police Officers
- Examining and issuing Certificates for the ‘Autopsy Specimens’ sent from the various Postmortem Centres such as the Upgraded Primary Health Centres, Taluk Head Quarters Hospitals and the District Head Quarters Hospital of the same and nearby Districts.
- Examining the Documents of Investigation and issuing the Expert Opinions on the Documents sent from various Investigating Officers and the Judiciary.
- Visiting the Scenes of Crimes in Complicated Cases as per the request of the Investigating Police Officers, and incorporating the findings in the relevant Medico Legal Documents.
- Examination of the Documents from the Investigating Officers of Prohibition and Enforcement Wing and Narcotics Wing and issue of relevant ‘Toxicity Certificates’.
- Preparing, dispatching and maintaining the Medico Legal and Administrative Records and the Documents of the department. Appearing in the Courts of Law, on receipt of the Summons from the Courts of Law for Deposing Evidence in the Autopsy Cases, Sexual Offence Cases, Age examination Cases, Toxicity Cases, Specimen Examination Certificates and Expert Opinions. The Department does Autopsies on all medicolegal cases which includes unnatural deaths , suspicious deaths, unidentified bodies. we conduct about 2500 autopsies on an average per year. We have extensive mortuary with five tables and a gallery to accommodate 75 students. There is an attached Cold Storage facility for 60 bodies
Medico legal Training
Police Officers such as Deputy Superintendent Of Police, Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Constables Criminology Students From Madras University. Medical Record Technicians.
There are 292 titles and journals in the Departmental Library. The Department Museum has 252 Mounted Specimens, , 65 Bones, 31 Weapons, 78 Poisons, 77 Charts/Diagrams, 175 photograph, 17 wax Models, X-rays.
Academics & Research
Graduate Program - M.B.B.S The Department has an organized graduate training program, which enrolls 150 graduates every year during the 6th and 7th semesters of the course years. The students undertake studies in Medical law & ethics, Identification of the dead, Procedures of medicolegal autopsy, Death& its causes, Post mortem changes, Pathology of injuries, Medicolegal aspects of injuries, Asphyxial deaths, Sexual jurisprudence, Forensic psychiatry, Toxicology, Age estimation by radiological examination, Examination of cluster of bones, Issue of wound certificate , drunkenness certificate, Examination of victims & accused in sexual offence cases.
The course content includes
- Didactic Lectures
- Seminars and group discussions involving participation of students are conducted every month
- Periodic Internal Assessment tests both in theory, practical and viva voce.
Post Graduate Program in Forensic Medicine
is a 3year course conducted under affiliation to the TN Dr MGR Medical University, Chennai. The program of training includes, Case presentation of Medicolegal autopsies discussion every day, Seminars & Subject Review, Postmortem Review meet, Lectures, Invited Guest lectures, Attending CMEs, Workshop and Conferences.
ON GOING RESEARCH
- Age Estimation by the Study of Dental Development in School Children
- Atherosclerotic Changes in Sudden Cardiac Death
- Atherosclerotic Lesion in Non Cardiac Unnatural Causes of Death in Young South Indian Males
- Study of Neck Structure Injuries in Hanging.
- Profile Of Death in Young Males
- Profile Of Unknown Deaths
- Assessment of Sex and Stature with analysis of Clavicle
- Study of the relationship between blood groups and suicides in the dead and survivors
- Analysis of the stature based on body part measurements and correlation with regional population