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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

On-line version ISSN 2215-5287Print version ISSN 1409-0015


SALAZAR MURILLO, Ronald. El conflicto ético en las pericias médico legales. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 1999, vol.16, n.1-2, pp.33-44. ISSN 2215-5287.

The article number 88, of the 1998’s Penal Proccess Code states that in a crime investigation, the acused can be summited to a series of test, even without the consentment of the person involved, and it is up to the specialist of the Medico-Legal Investigation Organism to do the test. The problem stated is the possibility to determine if the corporal intervention of the defendant, victim or third person in the legal process by the medico-legal experts constitute a violation of the fundamental rights, due to the process and constitutional dispositions, and if this forced interventions, despite of being autorized, continue to violate the ethical duty of the expert. The main principle is that is being examined is the right of the defendant to abstain to testify, which has been openly interpreted as the defendant's right of not giving any proof against him. By not allowing the use of corporal interventions , this right is being entended. The International Code of Medical Ethics ilustrates among the general duties, the duty of not interfiering physically or moraly to overcome the human being's resistance in the legal process. A man can be prohibited of his freedom, and can be put to a certain type of corporal interventions as long as they don't attempt in a rude way against his fundamental rights , integrity and dignity. A doctor can decide whether he/she wants to realize the tests. The doctor may refuse by different causes amog them if it is againts his/her beliefs or if it endangers the life of the defendant.

Keywords : Medical Ethic; defendant; codes; constitution; expertize; human rights; informed consentment.

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