European Council of Legal Medicine (ECLM) accreditation of forensic pathology services in Europe

P. Mangin, F. Bonbled, M. Väli, A. Luna, T. Bajanowski, H. P. Hougen, B. Ludes, D. Ferrara, D. Cusack, E. Keller, N. Vieira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Forensic experts play a major role in the legal process as they offer professional expert opinion and evidence within the criminal justice system adjudicating on the innocence or alleged guilt of an accused person. In this respect, medico-legal examination is an essential part of the investigation process, determining in a scientific way the cause(s) and manner of unexpected and/or unnatural death or bringing clinical evidence in case of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse in living people. From a legal perspective, these types of investigation must meet international standards, i.e., it should be independent, effective, and prompt. Ideally, the investigations should be conducted by board-certified experts in forensic medicine, endowed with a solid experience in this field, without any hierarchical relationship with the prosecuting authorities and having access to appropriate facilities in order to provide forensic reports of high quality. In this respect, there is a need for any private or public national or international authority including non-governmental organizations seeking experts qualified in forensic medicine to have at disposal a list of specialists working in accordance with high standards of professional performance within forensic pathology services that have been successfully submitted to an official accreditation/certification process using valid and acceptable criteria. To reach this goal, the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) has elaborated an accreditation/certification checklist which should be served as decision-making support to assist inspectors appointed to evaluate applicants. In the same spirit than NAME Accreditation Standards, European Council of Legal Medicine (ECLM) board decided to set up an ad hoc working group with the mission to elaborate an accreditation/certification procedure similar to the NAME’s one but taking into account the realities of forensic medicine practices in Europe and restricted to post-mortem investigations. This accreditation process applies to services and not to individual practitioners by emphasizing policies and procedures rather than professional performance. In addition, the standards to be complied with should be considered as the minimum standards needed to get the recognition of performing and reliable forensic pathology service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Volume129
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Forensic Pathology
Forensic Medicine
Accreditation
Certification
Coroners and Medical Examiners
Criminal Law
Guilt
Sex Offenses
Expert Testimony
Checklist
Decision Making
Organizations
Psychology

Keywords

  • Accreditation
  • European Council of Legal Medicine
  • Forensic pathology services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Mangin, P., Bonbled, F., Väli, M., Luna, A., Bajanowski, T., Hougen, H. P., ... Vieira, N. (2015). European Council of Legal Medicine (ECLM) accreditation of forensic pathology services in Europe. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 129(2), 395-403. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-014-1041-x

European Council of Legal Medicine (ECLM) accreditation of forensic pathology services in Europe. / Mangin, P.; Bonbled, F.; Väli, M.; Luna, A.; Bajanowski, T.; Hougen, H. P.; Ludes, B.; Ferrara, D.; Cusack, D.; Keller, E.; Vieira, N.

In: International Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 129, No. 2, 2015, p. 395-403.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mangin, P, Bonbled, F, Väli, M, Luna, A, Bajanowski, T, Hougen, HP, Ludes, B, Ferrara, D, Cusack, D, Keller, E & Vieira, N 2015, 'European Council of Legal Medicine (ECLM) accreditation of forensic pathology services in Europe', International Journal of Legal Medicine, vol. 129, no. 2, pp. 395-403. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-014-1041-x
Mangin, P. ; Bonbled, F. ; Väli, M. ; Luna, A. ; Bajanowski, T. ; Hougen, H. P. ; Ludes, B. ; Ferrara, D. ; Cusack, D. ; Keller, E. ; Vieira, N. / European Council of Legal Medicine (ECLM) accreditation of forensic pathology services in Europe. In: International Journal of Legal Medicine. 2015 ; Vol. 129, No. 2. pp. 395-403.
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