Medical Jurisprudence & Legal Medicine
The subject Legal Medicine, Medical Jurisprudence, and Medical Ethics is taken up in the third year level for two semesters. It is one of the twelve subjects in the Philippine Medical Licensure/Board exams, and its importance in clinical practice cannot be overemphasized enough with the legal dictum that “ignorance of the law is not an excuse for not complying therewith”. Relevant laws, administrative rules and regulations, and case studies pertaining to medical practice, health institutions, penal sanctions and liabilities (criminal, civil and administrative) make up Medical Jurisprudence. The Code of Medical Ethics on the other hand enunciates the moral and ethical responsibilities, duties and obligations of a physician with regard to his dealings and interactions with the patient, colleagues, the community, allied medical professions and the drug industry. A doctor does not only treat and heal but is also expected to be an agent in the proper dispensation of justice. Thus, Legal/Forensic Medicine provides the basic knowledge on the identification and handling of medical related evidence, and examination of victims of trauma, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual crimes, postmortem examination and autopsies, among others. Such knowledge is an indispensable tool when the physician is summoned by the Courts to testify as a witness with regards to such cases that he may have personally attended to, or when he is presented to enlighten and assist legal authorities.