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Cuadernos de Medicina Forense

versão On-line ISSN 1988-611Xversão impressa ISSN 1135-7606


NUNO VIEIRA, D.  e  MUNOZ-BARUS, J.I.. The Portuguese medico-legal and forensic system. Cuad. med. forense [online]. 2009, n.57, pp.185-198. ISSN 1988-611X.

In Portugal, the first regulatory texts referring to medico- legal practice date back to the sixteenth century, but it was not until much later, in the nineteenth century, with the development of legal medicine as an independent university discipline, that the first medico-legal public services (morgues) appeared. In 1918, these morgues were renamed Institutes of Legal Medicine of Coimbra, Oporto and Lisbon. After successive reforms, the old Institutes of Legal Medicine disappeared and were replaced by a single unified National Institute of Legal Medicine. This organisation is located in Coimbra, and comprises the three dependent delegations of Oporto, Coimbra and Lisbon. Each delegation has four expert services: Forensic Pathology, Clinical Forensic Medicine, Forensic Toxicology and Forensic Biology and Genetics. There is also a network of 31 Medico-Legal Bureau distributed throughout the country. With regard to training and research it should be mentioned that the Delegations work in close contact with the universities. Legal Medicine is a compulsory component of all degree courses in Medicine and Law in public universities, and a post-graduate degree in Legal Medicine has been in existence since 1918. Portugal also has a Scientific Police Laboratory at its service, which is only authorised for cases of criminal investigation.

Palavras-chave : Portuguese Ministry of Justice; Portuguese National Institute of Legal Medicine (PNILM); Scientific Police Laboratory (SPL).

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