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FORENSIC MEDICINE IN NORWAY

NCJ Number
57555
Journal
FORENSIC SCIENCE Volume: 10 Issue: 1 Dated: SPECIAL ISSUE (JULY/AUGUST 1977) Pages: 53-56
Author(s)
ANON
Date Published
1977
Annotation
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS IN NORWAY ARE HANDLED BY INSTITUTES OF FORENSIC MEDICINE AT TWO UNIVERSITIES, A MINISTRY OF JUSTICE MEDICAL EXAMINER AND TOXICOLOGY LABORATORY, AND THE CENTRAL CRIMINAL POLICE BUREAU.
Abstract
ALTHOUGH THERE ARE ONLY SIX FORENSIC PATHOLOGISTS IN THE COUNTRY, INCLUDING TWO FORENSIC ODONTOLOGISTS, THE POPULATION IS SPARSE (LESS THAN 4 MILLION PERSONS) AND ONLY ABOUT 2.5 PERCENT OF DEATHS ARE EXAMINED MEDICOLEGALLY. IN ADDITION, AUTOPSIES ARE PERFORMED BY HOSPITAL PATHOLOGISTS. LEGAL MEDICINE LECTURES ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL MEDICAL SCHOOL UNDERGRADUATES, WHILE AUTOPSY TECHNIQUES ARE TAUGHT IN THE PATHOLOGY COURSE AND THE EXAMINATION OF RAPE VICTIMS IS TAUGHT IN THE GYNECOLOGY COURSE. IN THEORY, ANY PRACTICING PHYSICIAN MAY PERFORM A MEDICOLEGAL AUTOPSY BUT, IN PRACTICE, ONLY SPECIALISTS ARE CALLED UPON TO DO THIS. PUBLIC AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATE ALL HOMICIDES; SUICIDES (ABOUT 25 PERCENT OF ALL REPORTED CASES); TRAFFIC, INDUSTRIAL, AND OTHER ACCIDENTS; SUDDEN UNEXPECTED DEATHS, INCLUDING THOSE IN INFANTS; AND DEATHS IN PRISON OR POLICE CUSTODY. THE DECISION TO PERFORM AN AUTOPSY IS MADE BY POLICE AFTER CONSULTATION WITH A FORENSIC SPECIALIST OR THE HOSPITAL PATHOLOGIST. NO PUBLIC INQUIRY IS HELD UNLESS THE CASE PROCEEDS TO A CRIMINAL TRIAL. IN CRIMINAL CASES TWO EXPERTS ARE APPOINTED BY THE COURT TO ACT AS ADVISORS TO BOTH THE PROSECUTION AND THE DEFENSE. THE OPINION OF THE MEDICOLEGAL COUNCIL IS ALSO AVAILABLE TO BOTH SIDES IF THERE IS A DISPUTE OVER MEDICAL EVIDENCE. THIS IS CONSIDERED PREFERABLE TO THE ADVERSARY SYSTEM FOUND IN ENGLAND AND THE UNITED STATES. (GLR)