2008 issue 1

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Volume 17, issue 1

Practical hints

Current legislation on medical forensic expert

Danuta Hajdukiewicz1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2008; 17 (1): 77-84
Keywords: The Medical Forensic Expert Act, legislation

Abstract

Objectives. To acquaint physicians with new legal acts appointing physicians to act as forensic experts, the only body authorized to grant a certificate of illness to account for non-appearance at court of a party summoned by the authority competent to pursuit penal or civil proceedings.
Review. Current legislation definitely differs from the regulations issued previously by the Minister of Justice. At present the only physicians qualified to act as forensic experts are those selected from a list of candidates recommended by the Regional Medical Council and contracted by the Chairman of the Regional Court. In the regulations concerning the acquirement and loss of the right act as a forensic medical expert the main emphasis is laid on the candidate's non-punishability, his not being subjected to penal proceedings or charged of gross medical negligence. In case of reasonable doubts concerning reliability of the physician 's professional activity (medical certificates issued), the Chairman of the Regional Court breaks the contract with immediate effect.
Conclusions. The knowledge of the current legislation, even if criticized, but still in force, is crucial for all physicians so that they would not infringe competences of the forensic physician, as well as for the latter so that they could insist on respectful treatment of their honest work.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Danuta Hajdukiewicz
Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii
Al. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa