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Cuadernos de Medicina Forense

versión On-line ISSN 1988-611Xversión impresa ISSN 1135-7606


VILLANUEVA CANADAS, E.; RAMOS MEDINA, V.  y  VILLANUEVA DE LA TORRE, H.. A new horizon for a more social Legal Medicine: the forensic physician as guarantor of the fundamental rights of the people (part II). Cuad. med. forense [online]. 2014, vol.20, n.1, pp.9-14. ISSN 1988-611X.

The current role of the physician and in particular the forensic physician as guarantor of the fundamental rights of person in today's society is reviewed in this article. The special importance of the change in the second half of the twentieth century in the doctor / patient relationship by which the principle of beneficence to autonomy gave way, creating complex situations especially when persons are at the end of life. The crossroads where the medical officer is to defend the interests of their patients at the expense of the Administration that pays him, especially in times of economic recession as present, are analyzed. There are numerous cases in which the forensic pathologist may be forced not to perform an autopsy or other judicial proceedings, or is involved in decisions taken by others, judges generally, and then blamed to de forensic physician. We also consider cases in which the fundamental rights of citizens may be violated by the State. The need for Legal Medicine in hospitals, as a medical specialty equal to other specialties is growing, related to the increasing great legal importance of criminal, civil, administrative and economical of injuries, as well as other actions that arise during hospital care. It is also questioned whether training of forensic physicians is adequate to achieve levels of quality assurance in their work, especially in the practice of autopsy, an operation on which results depend many rights and obligations and that cannot be redone. There are also new challenges facing as forensic physician: the Bioethics and medico-legal problems regarding abortion, free trade in organ transplantation or voluntary euthanasia, issues that are also discussed. These topics are reviewed from the perspective of protecting the rights of the citizens.

Palabras clave : Legal Medicine; Forensic physician; Doctor/patient relationship; Patient autonomy; Guarantor of the fundamental rights of persons.

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