Modern technology using state-of-the-art equipment can now identify almost any toxin relevant to a legal issue. Techniques include gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, high-pressure liquid chromatography, and the combination of these methods. Forensic Toxicology: Medico-legal Case Studies demonstrates how the science of forensic toxicology acts as a bridge between medicine and law. Tracking the progression of toxicology findings from the laboratory to the courtroom, it prepares practicing toxicologists to write reports and testify at depositions and in court.
The book explains the organization of clinical laboratories and includes sections on accreditation, quality control, method validation, and other critical topics. It provides an overview of the U.S. legal system, describes the process of writing a toxicology report, and offers techniques for deposition and courtroom testimony.
Covering a broad range of topics, the book offers detailed analysis of situations ranging from the rare and unusual to those that toxicologists most often confront, including:
- Determining serum/blood ethanol levels
- Ethylene glycol poisoning
- Plant and animal toxins
- Alcohol intoxication and breathalyzer tests
- Synergistic effects of alcohol and drugs
- Prescription drug overdose
- Toxic torts
- Workers’ compensation issues
Written in an accessible and well-organized style, this volume is an essential guide for forensic toxicologists at all levels who need to understand how to best present the science of toxicology in the forensic arena.
Table of Contents
Historical Perspectives in Toxicology
Organization of the Clinical Toxicology Laboratory
Unexpected and Unusual Results; Unusual Requests
U.S. Legal System
False-Positive Blood Alcohol
Alcohol and Drugs
Dram Shop Liability
Test for Recent Alcohol Use
Dr. Kalipatnapu N. Rao passed away shortly after the completion of this book. He was an internationally recognized expert in the field of clinical chemistry and pathology. Dr. Rao obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1965 from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India. He retired from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in 2004 after 35 years of research and teaching. He was then employed as an expert witness in toxicology, testifying in several courts throughout the country. His expertise and broad recognition in the field of toxicology has helped both prosecution and defense lawyers.