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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.