Legal Medicine in History / Edition 1

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This collection of essays presents fresh interpretations of the growth of medico-legal ideas, institutions and practices in Britain, Europe and America over the past four hundred years. Based on a wealth of new research, it brings the historical study of legal medicine firmly into the realm of social history. Case studies of infanticide, abortion, coroners' inquests, and criminal insanity show that legal medicine has often been the focus of social change and political controversy. The contributors also emphasize the formative influence of legal systems on medico-legal knowledge and practice. Legal Medicine in History enlarges our understanding of the public role of medicine in modern Western societies, while opening up new perspectives on social, cultural, and political history.

The book contains no figures.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"..this is a book both for history of medicine buffs and for those involved in the many branches of legal medicine...there are fascinating glimpses—some amusing, some ineffably sad—of past years when the lot of the poor and disenfranchised was a hell manipulated by the aloof, patronizing, and often cruel officialdom of doctors and lawyers." Bernard Knight, British Medical Journal

"The editing is superb, including the careful introduction and helpful cross-references added to fome of the is a book thich thies reader looks forward to having for continuing enjoyment and reference." Journal of the History of Medicine

"...the essays all reflect high standards of scholarship and together offer a powerful demonstration of the importance of legal medicine to an understanding of history as a whole. The volume is well-produced, with an excellent index." Anita Guerrini, Albion

"In demonstrating the participation of a diverse set of medical experts in lower-level forums, the editors and essayists have collected descriptions of the connections between medicine and the law at an important everyday level." Law and History Review

"...this collection of essays...will bear reference from those in the crime and criminal justice fields." Louis Knafla, International Criminal Justice Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521395144
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Notes on contributors; Preface; Introduction Michael Clark and Catherine Crawford; Part I. Early Modern Practice: 1. Forensic medicine in early colonial Maryland, 1633–83 Helen Brock and Catherine Crawford; 2. The scope of legal medicine in Lancashire and Cheshire, 1660–1760 David Harley; 3. Suspicious infant deaths: the statute of 1624 and medical evidence at coroners' inquests Mark Jackson; Part II. The Growth of a Science: 4. Legalizing medicine: early modern legal systems and the growth of medico-legal knowledge Catherine Crawford; 5. Infanticide trials and forensic medicine: Württemberg, 1757–93 Mary Nagle Wessling; 6. Training medical policemen: forensic medicine and public health in nineteenth-century Scotland Brenda White; Part III. Special Offenders: 7. 'I answer as a physician': opinion as fact in pre-McNaughtan insanity trials Joel Peter Eigen; 8. Understanding the terrorist: anarchism, medicine and politics in fin-de-siècle France Ruth Harris; 9. Malingerers, the 'weakminded' criminal and the 'moral imbecile': how the English prison medical officer became an expert in mental deficiency, 1880–1930 Stephen Watson; Part IV. The Politics of Post-Mortems: 10. The magistrate of the poor? Coroners and deaths in custody in nineteenth-century England Joe Sim and Tony Ward; 11. Coroners, corruption and the politics of death: forensic pathology in the United States Julie Johnson; Part V. Medical Authority in Question: 12. Unbuilt Bloomsbury: medico-legal institutes and forensic science laboratories in England between the wars Norman Ambage and Michael Clark; 13. Rex v. Bourne and the medicalization of abortion Barbara Brookes and Paul Roth; Index.

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