The Medical Profession and the Police

AuthorJohn Glaister
DOI10.1177/0032258X3000300205
Published date01 April 1930
Date01 April 1930
Subject MatterArticle
The
Medical Profession and the Police
By JOHN
GLAISTER,
M.D., ETC.
Regina Professor of Forensic Medicine in the University of Glasgow and
Medico-Legal Adviser in Crown Cases
IN the body politic, the medical profession and the police
play important parts and fulfil important functions; the
former by conserving the public health and tending the ills of
the people, and the latter by securing the maintenance of law
and order and protecting the lives and property of the lieges.
It
is impossible almost to go back to a point of time in the
history of any nation laying any claim to be civilized without
connoting a relation more or less intimate between the ad-
ministration of law and order and the medical profession,
especially in crimes of violence.
It would circumscribe the object of this article too much
if one were to designate by the term '
police'
merely the
important executive branch of the administration of the law,
and it will be well, therefore, to interpret by the
term'
police'
the'
judicial and executive system in a national jurisprudence
which is specially concerned to maintain public order, liberty,
property and individual security , while keeping in mind that
one of the principal duties of a police force is to prevent crime
and to secure offenders against the law.
The
evil proclivities of mankind from time immemorial
in one form especially have been manifested in deeds of
violence on their fellows. Probably it was because of this,
in earlier times, that the relationship between the medical
profession and the law became first established, since the
learned leech of the time was the only person competent to
help the law regarding the nature of the injuries of victims of
assault.
Thus
there originated an association between the medical
profession and the law, an association which came to be known
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