father of legal medicine

Legal Medicine, also called Medical Jurisprudence is a branch of
science and medicine involving the study and application of
scientific and medical knowledge to legal problems, such as
inquests, and in the field of law.

It is also defined interchangeably with forensic medicine.
Some consider the terms "forensic" and "legal" medicine to
be synonymous.

Forensic Medicine is defined as the application of medical
knowledge to the investigation of crime, particularly in
establishing the causes of injury or death.

Legal Medicine and Forensic medicine seems synonymous indeed
but if you carefully look at the application of medical
knowledge upon the legal system, legal medicine has greater
relevance to civil and tort law, impacting upon patient care,
whereas forensic medicine relates to criminal law and damage
to, or by, patients.

But who pioneered this branch of science or who is the father
of legal medicine?

Paolo Zacchia is considered as the Father of Legal Medicine.
He was an Italian doctor in the 1600s who published a series
of books exhausting the subject with the information available
at the time.

He was born in the year 1584 and died in the year 1659.

What really made him to be called the father of legal medicine
was his comprehensive work on the characteristics of wounds
and questionable deaths.

Legal Medicine and Forensic medicine are commonly required
subjects for those studying to become

  • Medical Doctor
  • Lawyer
  • Criminologist
  • Law Enforcement Officer

In the Philippines, the father of Legal Medicine can be rightfully
bestowed to Dr. Pedro P. Solis.

His book on Legal Medicine copyrighted in 1987,contains the most
extensive treatise and teachings in Philippine Legal Medicine.