Hon'ble Governor Dr. (Smt) Tamilisai Soundararajan, inaugurates the '41st Forensic Medicon'
The three day 41st Forensic Medicon - the National Annual Conference of Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine, being hosted by the Apollo Medical College, Hyderabad; was formally inaugurated by the Chief Guest Dr. (Smt) Tamilisai Soundararajan, Hon'ble Governor of Telangana State, on Thursday at Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills. Also present on the occasion were Guests of Honor, Hon'ble Justice Sri A. Rajasheker Reddy, Judge of High Court for the State of Telangana; Shri Eatala Rajender, Hon'ble Minister for Health, Medical & Family Welfare, Govt. of Telangana; Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and Secretary, Apollo Hospitals Educational and Research Foundation (AHERF); . P. C. Vyas, President, Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine and Dr G Surender Reddy, Organizing Chairman, 41st Forensic Medicon and Principal & Professor, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences & Research (AIMSR).
Speaking on the occasion Dr. (Smt) Tamilisai Soundararajan said, the conference garnering 600 delegates and over 250 scientific papers being presented on Forensic science is exceptional and deserves appreciation. As a medical student, when we were in tremendous stress to cope with studies and desired to skip some class, the one which was the automatic choice was the forensic medicine class, I have to confess this was the state of forensic medicine 30 years ago when I was a student. Therefore I am surprised at the number of delegates and the number of papers submitted at this conference and the advancements in this field. I salute each and every delegate present in this hall for choosing this specialty. As a gynecologist or physician when we attend to emergencies, it had a different outlook or psyche as we were there to save someone's life, but your emergency is to attend and investigate a dead body and that effort is to save justice and save the law. Selecting a medical specialty is not by chance or choice, but you choose to help and ensure further improvement of disease pattern or injury pattern, so that our further outlook on the disease can be improved. As one of the pioneers in sonology, this forensic medicine helped me to learn and modify my outlook to sonology. In emergency cases we diagnose and later correlate that findings with the forensic report, I even presented a paper correlating the sonology findings with the postmortem findings, this helped me to sharpen my knowledge of sonology and I accept that here. As a Doctor and a Governor, I endorse the request for medico-legal institution from the doctors here. In this era of crime, especially the medico legal cases and sexual harassment cases, in such instances your participation and involvement to solve such cases is highly commendable. After the advent of DNA analysis, in more than 250 cases, false cases were prevented and many neutral persons who were accused were saved. As medical professionals involved in forensic medicine, you are making a sacrifice, because dealing with alive patients is different and dealing with a patient without life is totally different, I can understand the trauma that comes, you need to have strong conviction. This is the profession which faces most of the challenges in the medical profession and the judicial outcomes and definitely needs lots of encouragement. I endorse the request for postmortem in the private institutions, I was working in a private institution the Ramachandra Medical college, Chennai, and they were conducting postmortems for more than decade. Because of the infrastructure the private medical colleges have should make them eligible to conduct postmortem. But apart from that, the Central Government and our Honorable Prime Minister is very much supportive of medicine, Shri Narendra Modiji said a strong forensic set up will helps in ensuring civil safety and in curbing crime, the same way as the efficient police force and effective judiciary. It is important for a person to fear the possibility that he is very likely to caught if he commits a crime and this is where forensic science becomes important. The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to decided to enhance the capacity of the six forensic science labs, under the directorate of forensic science, in the area of forensic psychology involving external experts, an MoU has been executed between the directorate of forensic science service and Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Gujarat Forensic science university and the November 28th, 2019, to jointly carry out research activities in the areas of forensic psychology, neuro psychological and psycho social genesis of the criminal behavior and relative matters with exchange of technology. Therefore this subject should get more encouragement by improving the facilities at mortuaries and also by establishing national and state level institutions of Medico legal importance. A dead person can't lie, you are picking up the truth from a dead lying person so your service is lauded, because without this specialty justice can't be rendered correctly. As a doctor I always look into the lives of doctor, we too have families, when we came back home we shared positive developments of the day like a child was born, but when you go back what can you share with your family, the trauma you see can be depressing, so I want you to cautious about your health try and have a positive mental attitude, be relaxed, because your service is valuable to the country. I will highlight your requests to the government for improving the infrastructure for medico legal cases and for doing research and my support is always with you.
Shri Eatala Rajender said, Hyderabad is a health hub and in the last five years we have taken several new initiatives which are a guiding light for the country. Forensic medicine is very critical, this science shows the path for those looking for justice, ethics. We have been looking at it as department for dead bodies. For accidents, sexual assaults, murders in isolated locations, when there is lack of evidence, forensic medicine comes to the rescue and creates confidence in the people. When there is no evidence or witness to be presented in the court, the forensic report guides the judgment. On occasion when unknown dead bodies with unbearable stench is pervasive, we get away from there, but the doctors have no option but to prepare forensic report. Despite the development, there are several hospitals which don't have facilities to preserve dead bodies. Most dead bodies which come to hospital, need to be investigated, therefore Telangana government under the leadership of KCR is setting up cold chain system in all the hospitals in the state for dead bodies, that way Telangana is ahead of many others. Off late there are new challenges, could be Corona, Ebola, Swine flu, despite science developing we continue to face issues, therefore science should have answers before these challenges arise. Forensic science can be the solution for such challenges by indicating the pattern and enable prevention, therefore this conference being hosted here is a privilege for us. Hope to see some significant outcomes this conference.
Hon'ble Justice Sri Rajasheker Reddy said, forensic sciences is related to law. In ancient times village elders used to decide civil and criminal cases but today medical science and toxicology is very useful in the application for investigation of crime. Even if we lie, circumstances will not lie, men or witness may lie but the forensic reports help. Many a times direct evidence is not available in instances of rape and murder, we take into account circumstantial evidence and medical evidence plays a crucial role in corroborating the circumstances, that's the importance of this branch of medicine. You have a role towards the society to bring evidence against the culprit. Also the cause of the death could be due to injury or disease, research through forensic medicine helps in identifying the cause and help in prevention and cure of disease, that big role Forensic medicine has. You are also stake holders in the administration of justice, so you should not forget our role and responsibility to society. We should try to curtail and curb crime.
Dr Sangita Reddy said, my nephew while studying medicine once said, forensic is a dull subject and anyway they are dead why study about it, but his mother who is a doctor said that patient may be dead, but unless you do the right forensic analysis somebody else may be killed for that, so the importance of the truth behind how this happened I think is one of the most significant portions of the science and forensic medicine and toxicology is the branch which works along with the criminal justice system. Various medico legal reports issued by doctors help investigative agencies and judiciary in deciding the innocence and the guilt of an individual which also involves life. The evolution of forensic science, integration of IT and other investigative technologies, be it advanced radiology, various aspects of analytics and subsequently the use of AI and other methodologies, even if it is analytics in terms of neuroscience, biosciences, chemical sciences all these fields are emerging at a rapid pace and it is for India to keep abreast as we are doing in every other field. I want to thank and congratulate you all for the dedication to the subject. I want to reiterate that the private colleges have high end infrastructure, whether it is high end mortuary, very good faculty, enabling them to also play a role in the autopsies and analysis is very important, not just to reduce the load on the government colleges but also to enable the students to learn the subject further so that the science develops. Doctors besides practicing care, competence and compassion, we need to learn communication, because very often so much of the case is in a manner the outcome is colored by the initial communication about that case, the ability not to communicate itself is a communication skill and some of these are very important arts and talents to be taught, because very often a case is pre-judged based on what is spoken and what comes in the media, lets ensure we are able to do trial based on science and trial based on the judgment of the judges and let the media report the incidence and not create a media trail, because inadvertently communication happens.
According to Dr G Surender Reddy, though the government doctors are working under ministry of medical and health, their medico legal services are utilized by the investigation agencies. Hence the Home department should help and strengthen forensic medicine departments, which will encourage the young MBBS graduates to join MD forensic medicine and enable to maintain and enhance the standards of the specialty. As per Medical Council of India it is mandatory that mortuary facilities are available in private medical colleges also. But permission to do postmortems is not given. If such permission is given by putting some guidelines by state Home Department, the work load on Government mortuary will decrease. It will also help in getting practical training to under graduates.
The Conference being held from 30th January to 1st February 2020, will have participation of over 600 delegates, 8 International speakers and 12 nationally reputed Forensic experts as faculty, with 250 scientific papers being presented. The delegates will deliberate on the theme of “Integration and Innovation” of forensic medicine to bring out standard medico legal opinions, which will aid in reducing crime rates and enable a better society.
Forensic Medicine is the branch of medicine which helps in the administration of justice. Forensic Medicine experts use the medical knowledge to solve the problems faced by the crime investigators. The various medico legal reports like wound certificate, age examination of victim and accused in sexual assault cases, etc., and post mortem reports play a valuable role in judgments and is an important in day to day practice of doctors.
The theme of the conference being Integration & Innovation of Forensic Medicine, there is an urgent need of integrating Forensic Medicine with other disciplines, for facts, scientifically authentic evidence. Innovation in the current era is essential as the perpetrations of crime are changing the ways crime is committed.
The Conference began with the Father of Indian Forensic Medicine, 'I. Bhooshan Rao Oration.' Several topics like Role of Forensic experts in adjudication process, Examination of minor sexual assault victims – challenges & solutions, The role of media in crime investigation, the innovative method of Autopsy, Digital autopsy using Radiology aids, Computerization of medical evidence and e- evidence are the important topics being discussed during the three days. The deliberations will definitely pave way for new, better, scientifically relevant solutions for better criminal justice system