The two big trees of law and medicine have branches spread out that tend to intersect at a point—Medical Jurisprudence. “Study of laws related to medicine” and “administration of medical knowledge for administrations of law” are sentences that, although sounding adversarial, happen to swirl around each other, forming a bridge between the two trees.
Forensic science is the field where the knowledge of science as a whole is applied, and the scientists are usually experts from different fields of science, who work in a confined zone, the forensic science laboratory. Three major branches of science—physics, chemistry, and biology—are the backbones of all their investigation, and interpretation of evidence analyzed are their major job responsibility. The evidence examined depends on the expertise of these major branches. Serology, a branch originating from biology, for example, analyzes blood, blood products, and seminal stains, whereas toxicology, a branch originating from chemistry, analyzes poisonous and narcotic products.
A branch of science studying human body in medical science is anatomy, and the basis of diagnosis of an organ is pathology. Death and crime investigations can be considered fruits from the same tree. Scene of crime officers are the police, who inspect the scene of incident. Forensic pathologists are experts in human pathology who collect evidence of court value not only from the dead bodies, but at times may be engaged in the evolving concept of ‘clinical forensic medicine’, where vital medico-legal evidence is collected from living survivors of violence and abuse for further examinations. Their workplaces are hospitals, field hospitals, or even crime scenes, alongside the investigating police officer. Collection of evidence and interpretation of findings to estimate grievousness of injuries and formulating the cause of death and association of any injuries/illness to death are basic objectives of their work.
Forensic anthropology and odontology are other specialized branches of human body science that are versatile and practical during mass disasters for identifying individuals. Study of fingerprints and handwritings, to more sophisticated DNA testing, are all branches of different sciences within the same tree.
Ironically, the public’s understanding of court procedure is reflective of the old saying, “whoever tells the best story wins”. The statements given by assailant, perpetrator, victim, neighbor, or anyone present at the scene of incident are recorded as verbal evidence. Witness analysis is a major branch of legal procedure. Any papers like birth certificates, injury reports, licenses, etc. are documentary evidence provided by experts or any authorized personnel who are experts in their field, or the expert witness. The expert witness gathers facts from the content and produces a report based on his/her expertise. Court procedure appears understandable when we mention defense lawyers, public prosecutors, and judges, but is equally puzzling when the stories discussed and focused on in the courtroom are usually confined to mere witness statements that can turn hostile any moment. Civil law, corporate law, child/infant and female delinquencies, and humanitarian laws are some branches that one is aware of. A separate branch of law that deals only with medical science is medical jurisprudence.
You have said ‘ Death and crime investigation can be considered fruits from same tree’. We know death is inevitable. But those who die painful death e.g. RTA, is it fruit or curse? You have said about the crime investigation but not mentioned anything about death. As a medical person, we deal with death almost everyday.So, you could have elaborated of role of medical science in dealing with dead bodies.