Promoting medico-legal knowledge in all its aspects

Malcolm Brahams

Members have received the print edition of their Journal – Volume 88 Part Four. This brings to five the issues that have been published during 2020. The extra edition was  created to make up for the inability to hold meetings during the summer.

Professor Harry Zeitlin, now our President, was the Medical Editor at the time he wrote the Editorial on the dilemmas that face countries accepting asylum seekers.

Narinder Kapur from UCH in London discusses how a chart or “Schema” could help lawyers understand how clinical negligence occurs.

This issue also has contributions sourced from India, Nepal and Italy.

From India, there is are articles on how the birth of a female child can be a factor leading to the wife’s murder; how a murderer spread salt over his victim’s body intending to hasten decomposition but which unintentionally preserved the body; a discussion of the dilemma posed to doctors when faced by hunger strikers. And the case of a young video gamer who committed suicide when scolded by his parents.

From Italy: how Covid-19 has become a novel spur to suicide. A separate article discusses the effect of Covid on prisoners including suicide but also mental illness generally. From Catanzaro, a discussion of how liquified petroleum gas mixtures can be used as an aid to suicide; from Palermo, how a congenital anomaly called Myocardial Bridging can be a leading cause of death among sports players.

And from Nepal, how establishment of One-Stop Crisis Management Centres have helped victims of sexual assault but how they receive less sympathetic treatment at a standard emergency department.

Finally, Daniel Haines, now our Medical Editor, has reviewed Richard Shepherd’s book. “Unnatural Causes.”  Dick Shepherd was well known as an active member of the Society who addressed us some years ago about the Hungerford Massacre but is now better known as presenter of the TV series “Autopsy: The Last Hours of….”

At the Society’s first meeting of the new season on 8th October 2020  Sir Robert Francis QC (well known for conducting the Mid-Staffs Enquiry and latterly chairman of Healthwatch England) handed over the presidency to Professor Harry Zeitlin, Emeritus Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University College, London.    Professor Zeitlin addressed the meeting (held via Zoom and attended by more than 50 members) on the subject of “Expert Witnesses Past Present and Future.”  During the subsequent discussion, the meeting was delighted to hear from its former president Dr Neville Davis who, at the age of 95, is continuing to act as an expert witness.

Professor Zeitlin

Following Harry Zeitlin’s appointment as President he has relinquished his position as Medical Editor of the Medico-Legal Journal and  Dr Daniel Haines has taken his place. Danial Haines is former President of the Society and had acted as Medical Editor before serving as President.

 

Dr Haines