Research ethics in forensic medicine - The Indian scenario - Problems and suggestions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Forensic Medicine deals with the application of forensic medical knowledge to the law and justice system. This knowledge, in turn, is dependent on information. Moreover, as in all data, it has to be accurate, reliable, reproducible and valid. The only means of ensuring this is research and experimentation. The administration of justice, therefore, depends on sound science. Unfortunately, research and experimentation in the realm of forensic medicine and toxicology are beset with problems. These problems range from areas as diverse as setting objectives for a study to correctly interpreting their results. However, the starting point is problems with research ethics. The Forensic research participant pool and resources are mainly the following: surviving victims of battery, sexual offences, accidents and others.; as well as fatalities due to any reason in medico-legal cases. When it comes to surviving victims, the guidelines though not established in India can be considered as on par with those involving at-risk and vulnerable populations in other studies, i.e. special care and consideration needs to be employed with dealing with these participants. However, the primary source of data for research will most likely always remain the cadaver in Forensic Medicine. However, real and valid concerns have arisen involving cadavers that if not addressed right now, threaten to derail progress made in inculcating a spirit of research in Forensic Medicine in India. Issues ranging from consent, toxicology research, and protocols to be followed in incidental findings, non-lethal pathologies need to be dealt with. This paper hopes to address and bring to light some of those problems and suggest ways to move ahead with the very least a roadmap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-192
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-04-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Research ethics in forensic medicine - The Indian scenario - Problems and suggestions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this