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Aspects of Forensic Medicine An Introduction for Healthcare Professionals

Aspects of Forensic Medicine An Introduction for Healthcare Professionals

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Forensic [definition]: of, relating to, or denoting the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime: forensic evidence – of or relating to courts of law (New Oxford Dictionary of English).
Trauma, including rape and violence against women and children, accounts for the majority of emergency department visits in South Africa, especially over weekends. Doctors, nurses and emergency service providers will find trauma management expanded here beyond medical aspects of wound evaluation, documentation and treatment, to include crucial psychosocial and legal dimensions. This merger of medical, psychosocial and legal responsibilities is often overlooked by healthcare professionals. However, all patients appreciate effective, compassionate crisis intervention and for many the follow up of the potential legal process is important, enhancing closure and healing. Healthcare professionals are uniquely and optimally placed to assist the patient with biopsychosocial and forensic care.

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