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Legal Medicine in History


Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine

Michael Clark, Catherine Crawford, Helen Brock, David Harley, Mark Jackson, Mary Nagle Wessling, Brenda White, Joel Peter Eigen, Ruth Harris, Stephen Watson, Joe Sim, Tony Ward, Julie Johnson, Norman Ambage, Barbara Brookes, Paul Roth
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  • Date Published: June 1994
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521395144


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About the Authors
  • 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 emphasise 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.

    • Presents a series of challenging new historical interpretations of cases in forensic medicine
    • Legal medicine is presented as an integral part of social, administrative and professional practice
    • Covers four centuries and includes material on Britain, Europe and the USA
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 1994
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521395144
    • length: 380 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.677kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Notes on contributors
    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

  • Editors

    Michael Clark

    Catherine Crawford, University of Essex


    Michael Clark, Catherine Crawford, Helen Brock, David Harley, Mark Jackson, Mary Nagle Wessling, Brenda White, Joel Peter Eigen, Ruth Harris, Stephen Watson, Joe Sim, Tony Ward, Julie Johnson, Norman Ambage, Barbara Brookes, Paul Roth

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