S K Dhattarwal

S K Dhattarwal

PGIMS, India

Title: The pivot of medico-legal system


Dr. S.K. Dhattarwal completed his MD Forensic Medicine from PGIMS, Rohtak in year 1987. He is the Sr. Professor and Head of Department of Forensic Medicine, Pt B. D. Sharma, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India. He is Medico-legal Advisor to Govt. of Haryana, India. He has published more than 27 papers in International Journal and 79 in National Journal. He has attended large number of International and National Conferences. He is member of many professional/medical organizations. He is President of Indian Medical Association, Haryana. He is associate Editor in Medico-legal Update – An International Journal and Editor, Haryana Medical Journal. He has recently contributed a Chapter on Disaster Management in book by Gautam Biswas


The word forensics has been determined from the Latin word 'forensis' which means forum or public while the word pathology literally means 'study of suffering'. Forensic pathology is an application of pathological principles to the investigation of the medico-legal cases. It is a field that stretches into both the medical and legal arenas. Forensic pathology is a specialized area within the overall field of pathology concerned with determining the cause and manner of death. There are two main branches of forensic pathology. Anatomical Pathology which deals with the evaluation of tissues and Clinical Pathology that involves the evaluation of body fluids with the help of the laboratory. Forensic pathologists are an integral part of investigation system. Forensic pathologists are medically qualified doctors who perform autopsies (postmortem examinations) on sudden, unexpected, or an unnatural death like trauma or poisoning. The information discovered through an autopsy provides investigators with vital pieces of information as to, what might be responsible for death of an individual. In most jurisdictions this is done by a "forensic pathologist", coroner, medical examiner, or hybrid medical examiner-coroner system. People often assume that forensic pathologists only deal with cases of homicide or suspicious deaths, however a large percentage, if not the majority of cases handled by forensic pathologists, are natural deaths. Without a trained & dedicated forensic pathologists, many death investigations would go unsolved.

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