Course Introduction

FSP 301 : Forensic Medicine & Toxicology

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Forensic Medicine and Toxicology is vast topic which is covered as one of the Forensic Science courses. Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, is basically covered under two sections. First section is comprised of Forensic Medicine, which deals with the techniques applied in medical science for the purpose of law; whereas second section deals completely with the Toxicology, as the name suggests, Toxicology is all about the detection, isolation and the symptoms produced by a particular poison/toxin on a living being.


The medical science is of great help in assisting court proceedings in various criminal cases. Forensic Medicine deals with the application of the techniques used in Medical Science, for the purpose of proper legal proceedings. The topics that students will be taught under this section are: the definition and types of Death as stated under law, the early and late stages of death, and an in-depth study of various phenomena causing death as homicide, suicide, malnutrition, disease, starvation, dehydration and accidents. The manner of death and the deceased’s physical conditions vary from case to case. The possible signs and symptoms present in every case is separately taught to the students, explaining them the mechanism responsible for the specific condition. The difference between wound and injury in terms of law is explained, the general differences between wounds as abrasions, lacerations, contusions, avulsions, stab wounds, chop wounds and injuries caused due to firearms, and their medico-legal aspects.


The complex topics as rape and other sexual offences, sexual perversions, virginity, pregnancy and criminal abortion are also main concerns of this subject. The infant and child death, its viability, the difference between live birth, still birth, dead born along with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and child abuse are also a few chief topics that are included in the course structure.  Along with a systematic and elaborative theoretical explanations, students would be imparted a practical session by taking them to an autopsy visit, so that they get hold of the significance and utility of autopsy in cases related to unnatural death. An autopsy is an external as well as internal examination performed on a corpse to determine certain facts as to know the cause of death, manner of death, time since death and to evaluate the presence of any disease or injury that may have led to the death.


The second section of this course includes a descriptive study of Toxicology. In simple words, Toxicology may be defined as the study of poisons. In the course modules, students would be guided as how to pack viscera, their analysis process and submission of the complete analysis as report in the court. In toxicology, the students are familiarized with the general characteristics of various poisons, the toxic principle present in them, their mechanism of action, their fatal period and fatal dose, the signs and symptoms associated with each poison, the post-mortem appearances associated with them, their medico-legal aspects, and lastly their isolation and detection techniques.


Poisons, being very vast subject, is broadly classified as Corrosive Poisons, Metallic Poisons, Corrosive Poisons, Insecticides, Pesticides, Plant Poisons, Animal Poisons, Somniferous Poisons, Inebriants and Miscellaneous. Under each topic, students are taught about the common poisons encountered under each heading.

  • Level I : Forensic Medicine & Toxicology

    MODULE 1 – FORENSIC MEDICINE AND COURT PROCEDURE

    This module is framed to make the students understand what actually Forensic Medicine is all about. This module would help students gather information and use of application of medical techniques in the legal proceedings. Through this module, students would be made aware of the prominence of medical certification, medical reports and dying declaration.

    MODULE 2 – THANATOLOGY

    This module will acquaint the students with the meaning of thanatology, various modes of death, significance and moments of death. Students will make themselves aware about various immediate, early and late changes that occurs after the demise of an individual. Time since death can also be estimated after careful examination.

    MODULE 3 – PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION

    In this module, the importance of Personal Identification would be taught to the students. The minute details as scars, moles, tattoos are of great help in establishing the identity of an unclaimed or unknown body. The personal items as rosary beads, sacred thread, mangalsutras etc. also can aid a lot in establishing identity.

    MODULE 4 – INJURIES (WOUNDS)

    This module encompasses the detailed description about injuries. Students will learn about classification of injuries, which is mechanical, chemical, injuries due to cold, thermal, electricity, and starvation. Also students will acquire knowledge about injuries caused by radiations, firearms and explosion, fabricated and non-fabricated injuries.

    MODULE 5 – FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY

    In this module, the students will be introduced with Forensic Toxicology, where they will get an opportunity to acquaint themselves with Toxicology, its significance in Forensic Science, general aspects of poisoning, clinical features, autopsy appearances of various poison, dispatch and preservation of viscera and their medico-legal significances.

  • Level II : Forensic Medicine & Toxicology

    MODULE 1 – FORENSIC MEDICINE AND COURT PROCEDURE

    This module is framed to make the students understand what actually Forensic Medicine is all about. This module would help students gather information and use of application of medical techniques in the legal proceedings. Through this module, students would be made aware of the prominence of medical certification, medical reports and dying declaration.

    MODULE 2 – THANATOLOGY

    This module will acquaint the students with the meaning of thanatology, various modes of death, significance and moments of death. Students will make themselves aware about various immediate, early and late changes that occurs after the demise of an individual. Time since death can also be estimated after careful examination.

    MODULE 3 – ASPHYXIAL DEATH

    One of the major type of death is Asphyxial death, that is death caused due to lack of oxygen. This course module will cover introduction, history and types of Asphyxial death. These will typically include hanging, strangulation, suffocation and drowning. Students will also be made accustomed with the significance of this type of mode of death.

    MODULE 4 – PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION

    In this module, the importance of Personal Identification would be taught to the students. The minute details as scars, moles, tattoos are of great help in establishing the identity of an unclaimed or unknown body. The personal items as rosary beads, sacred thread, mangalsutras etc. also can aid a lot in establishing identity.

    MODULE 5 – INJURIES (WOUNDS)

    This module encompasses the detailed description about injuries. Students will learn about classification of injuries, which is mechanical, chemical, injuries due to cold, thermal, electricity, and starvation. Also students will acquire knowledge about injuries caused by radiations, firearms and explosion, fabricated and non-fabricated injuries.

    MODULE 6 – SEXUAL OFFENCES

    Sexual offences are categorized under most heinous felonies. This module encompasses the detailed description about various types of sexual offences and its related legal aspects starting from Natural, Unnatural, Sexual Perversions and Indecent Assault. This course module will let the students explore the limits and enrich their knowledge to the verge.

    MODULE 7 – FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY

    In this module, the students will be introduced with Forensic Toxicology, where they will get an opportunity to acquaint themselves with Toxicology, its significance in Forensic Science, general aspects of poisoning, clinical features, autopsy appearances of various poison, dispatch and preservation of viscera and their medico-legal significances.

    MODULE 8 – MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE I

    The definition of various Medical Councils as Central and State Medical Councils along with their functions and disciplinary control along with the rights and duties of a registered medical practitioner are the primary concerns. The cases relating to civil and criminal medical negligence would also be included under the same.

  • Level III : Forensic Medicine & Toxicology

    MODULE 1 – FORENSIC MEDICINE AND COURT PROCEDURE

    This module is framed to make the students understand what actually Forensic Medicine is all about. This module would help students gather information and use of application of medical techniques in the legal proceedings. Through this module, students would be made aware of the prominence of medical certification, medical reports and dying declaration.

    MODULE 2 – THANATOLOGY

    This module will acquaint the students with the meaning of thanatology, various modes of death, significance and moments of death. Students will make themselves aware about various immediate, early and late changes that occurs after the demise of an individual. Time since death can also be estimated after careful examination.

    MODULE 3 – ASPHYXIAL DEATH

    One of the major type of death is Asphyxial death, that is death caused due to lack of oxygen. This course module will cover introduction, history and types of Asphyxial death. These will typically include hanging, strangulation, suffocation and drowning. Students will also be made accustomed with the significance of this type of mode of death.

    MODULE 4 – MEDICO-LEGAL AUTOPSY

    The detailed study of Death through a legal perspective, along with the facts related to it is of great importance in cases related to the unnatural death, be it homicide, suicide, accident or a traumatic violent act. It’s the chief concern of the Investigator and the Medical Practitioner to reveal every fact that is associated with the death, in order to make sure no fact goes unseen. Students would be acquainted with the early and late stages of death and their significance in determining various factors as time since death, the plausible factors present during the death and many more.

    MODULE 5 – PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION

    In this module, the importance of Personal Identification would be taught to the students. The minute details as scars, moles, tattoos are of great help in establishing the identity of an unclaimed or unknown body. The personal items as rosary beads, sacred thread, mangalsutras etc. also can aid a lot in establishing identity.

    MODULE 6 – INJURIES (WOUNDS)

    This module encompasses the detailed description about injuries. Students will learn about classification of injuries, which is mechanical, chemical, injuries due to cold, thermal, electricity, and starvation. Also students will acquire knowledge about injuries caused by radiations, firearms and explosion, fabricated and non-fabricated injuries.

    MODULE 7 – SEXUAL OFFENCES

    Sexual offences are categorized under most heinous felonies. This module encompasses the detailed description about various types of sexual offences and its related legal aspects starting from Natural, Unnatural, Sexual Perversions and Indecent Assault. This course module will let the students explore the limits and enrich their knowledge to the verge.

    MODULE 8 – ASSISTED REPRODUCION AND INFANT DEATH

    The module covers details regarding assisted reproduction technology which is used to achieve pregnancy in procedure such as fertility, medication, in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy. Students will be acquainted with the knowledge of Impotence, Sterility, Artificial Insemination, Virginity, Pregnancy and Abortion.  Infant Death, as the name signifies will be dealing with various types of infant and childhood deaths as determination of age of fetus, live birth, still birth, dead born, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), child labor and the significance of the medico-legal aspects of precipitate labor.

    MODULE 9 – EXAMINATION OF BODY FLUIDS

    This module focusses on importance of examination of bodily fluids from a forensic perspective. The importance of recognition, detection, and examination of bodily fluids as semen, saliva, urine, vaginal fluid and blood is of great use in a sequential forensic investigations.

    MODULE 10 – FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY

    In this module, the students will be introduced with Forensic Toxicology, where they will get an opportunity to acquaint themselves with Toxicology, its significance in Forensic Science, general aspects of poisoning, clinical features, autopsy appearances of various poison, dispatch and preservation of viscera and their medico-legal significances.

    MODULE 11 – POISONS

    The impact of poisons, poisoning and their nature is a vast topic of discussion in Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. Under this module, students will get to explore commonly encountered poisons under various categories as Metallic Poisons, Corrosive Poisons, Animal Poisons, Deliriant Poisons, Somniferous Poisons, Asphyxiates and Inebriant Poisons. Students will be taught individually about each poison under various sub-headings as general characteristics, principle toxin, action of mechanism, signs and symptoms, post-mortem appearances and medico-legal significance. This module will let the students explore the limits and enrich their knowledge to the verge.

    MODULE 12 – FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY

    Forensic Psychiatry is one of the broadly emerging trends of Forensic Science. The use and application of the science of Psychiatry, in order to assess and determine the degree of negativity in an individual’s personality. With the implementation of psychiatric techniques and science of psychology, the students will be taught as how to observe and analyze the personality traits of the individuals with criminal minds.

    MODULE 13 – MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE I

    The definition of various Medical Councils as Central and State Medical Councils along with their functions and disciplinary control along with the rights and duties of a registered medical practitioner are the primary concerns. The cases relating to civil and criminal medical negligence would also be included under the same.

    MODULE 14 – MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE II

    Under this module, students will be accustomed to the cases concerning the involvement of Medical Jurisprudence. Certain cases as cases pertaining to death, rape, paternity etc. may require a medical practitioner who may assist the court in determining the degree or extent of loss, damage or any other side-effect; so that after being governed properly court could give a justified verdict in favor of the party concerned. Medical malpractices, Organ transplantation, Immoral Trafficking are the major topics of concern in the prescribed module.

    MODULE 15 – ASSIST OBSERVE

    Under this module, students would be taught about the prominence of medical certificates, birth certificate, death certificate and dying declaration. Besides this, students would also be taught as to how to present oneself as an Expert Witness in a Court of Law. Age estimation from bones, dentitions etc. and examination of injuries/wounds will also be the key topics of discussion.

  • What is Forensic Medicine & Toxicology?

    In the course Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, the learners will be acquainted with the importance of medical science and techniques, along with detailed information of Toxicology in criminal investigation procedures.

  • How can I become an Expert of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology?

    The learner, through this course, focuses on the major disciples of forensic toxicology such as postmortem, human performance, and drug abuse. They would also be introduced to various aspects of forensic medicine involving crimes against the living. They are introduced to the level of expertise along with the basics and additional training. 

  • What are the responsibilities as an Expert of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology?

    The Expert of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, are expected to collect and analyse the evidence of importance that might form links of the case. They need to state the cause and time of the death and other conditions that might lead to the death of the living and opine for the same. They also assist in legal proceedings. 

  • What are the scope and the opportunistic aspects of the course?

    The learner with skills and intuitive knowledge can work with various State as well as Centrally located Forensic Science Laboratories, which work extensively for bringing justice to the innocent.  Any learner with required eligibility can also assist or perform postmortem. 

  • Where can I contact in case of any queries?

    You can write to us at education@sifs.in or call us at +91-1147074263 or WhatsApp us +91-7303913002 or +91-7303913003.


Thirty-five-year-old Carpenter

A 35 year-old male presents because of numbness and tingling of his hands and feet, due to Arsenic poisoning.

History of present illness:

His symptoms began approximately 3 months ago, with gradual onset of numbness and tingling in his toes and fingertips, progressing over weeks to involve the feet and hands in a symmetric "stocking-glove" pattern. About 1 month ago he had an episode of nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, which resolved after 3 days. In the past 2 to 3 weeks, the tingling has taken on a progressively painful, burning quality and he has noted weakness in gripping tools.

Past medical history:

non-contributory. Family history is unremarkable; his wife, parents, and two younger brothers are in good health.

Social history:

The patient has been a carpenter since completing high school 17 years ago. For the last 10 years, he has lived in a rural, wooded area in a home he built in the wooded foothills of the Cascade Range in Northwest Washington. Approximately 10 months ago, he married and moved with his wife, an elementary school teacher, into a newly built home on an adjacent parcel of land. The patient consumes 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks a week and quit smoking 2 years ago after a 15 pack/year history. He takes 1 multivitamin a day, but no other supplements or prescription medications.

Review of Systems:

He notes episodes of increased sweating in the last 3 months.

Physical Examination:

Vital signs were temperature 37. 5 degrees C; pulse 60 and regular; respirations 12; BP 124/76.

Nipun Kulshreshtha

4

I gained a lot of knowledge from this online course...learned a lot of new things.

Christa Grace Daniel

4
The course framed by SIFS is really appreciable and thankyou for their continuous support. Kudos to the team.

Sweta

4

In times of Covid-19, this was a wonderful utilization of time. I'm grateful that I opted for this course.  

Dibyashree Goswami

5

It was very good and informative course.

Manisha Verma

5

The course was really beneficial I was able to learn something. The course was quite interesting. I want to thank the entire team of SIFS. It was really informative.

 

Instructors

Sheza Azeen

Sheza Azeen

Director Training

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