Forensic Toxicology: Medico-Legal Case Studies

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ISBN 9781439866818
Cat# K12995



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ISBN 9781439866825
Cat# KE13205



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    • Uses a case-oriented approach to show medico-legal aspects of toxicological analysis
    • Includes civil and criminal cases addressing the unusual as well as the typical
    • Provides techniques for writing reports and testifying at deposition and in court
    • Presents background information on clinical laboratories and the U.S. court system


    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
    Serum/Blood Ethanol
    Ethylene Glycol
    Drug Screens
    Plant Toxins
    Animal Toxins
    U.S. Legal System
    Toxicology Report
    Deposition Testimony
    Court Testimony
    Alcohol Intoxication
    False-Positive Blood Alcohol
    Alcohol and Drugs
    Breathalyzer Tests
    Dram Shop Liability
    Test for Recent Alcohol Use
    Drug Overdose
    Toxic Torts
    Workers’ Compensation

    Author Bio(s)

    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.