In this article we want to present clinical forensic medicine to a wider range of audience, particularly its importance, role, scope, and state of the art in Slovenia. The article also brings insight into the work of the Clinical Forensic Unit of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, where clinical forensic examinations of victims and perpetrators are performed.
Clinical forensic medicine is an important branch of forensic medicine. Its development began in the 1960s and has experienced rapid development over the last 10 years. Primer aim of clinical forensic medicine is forensic examinations of victims of physical and sexual violence. However, this is not the only field of clinical forensic medicine. The foundation is a medical examination using clinical knowledge and procedures as well as diagnostic methods according to the principles of forensic examination. The body of the examinee, who may be the victim or the perpetrator, is a crime scene that needs to be properly forensically processed. This means that injuries should be described according to professional standards and techniques and should be properly secured as an evidence. Only a well-trained specialist physician – i.e. forensic specialist, can properly cover these injuries with a precise description and definition of the type of injury, their photo documentation, etc. At the same time, as a doctor, he/she is also allowed to intervene on and in the body, which means that physician can take smears from the surface of the body and body cavities. We are talking about an expert – examinee relationship, and not on a doctor – patient relationship. All this can be done only in the right place and in cooperation with the right staff. The first is a technically equipped and spatially designed clinical forensic examination rooms. The latter represents a forensically educated physician and nurse, administration assistance and accessability of other medical specialties, as well as non-medical staff. Currently, the only suitably staffed and technically equipped clinical forensic unit is on the premises of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Ljubljana. It is available twenty–four hours a day throughout the year. The unit has some limitations and is mainly used by the police and the judiciary, who are ordering examination. The financing of clinical forensic medicine in Slovenia for the time is being poorly regulated.
The paper will bring the concepts of clinical forensic medicine and clinical forensic examination to the wider professional public, especially the police and the judiciary, investigating judges and the prosecution. The responsible person equipped with this knowledge will be more prone to seek clinical forensic examination of victims and suspects during the criminal procedure. This will improve the holistic care of the victims. Also, important evidence will be better secured. The examinations in a clinical forensic unit will bring a greater tide to both the victims of the crime and the criminal procedure.|