Sunday, May 1, 2016

Ethics and the Forensic Expert: A fascinating post by one of my favourite 'forensic' Bloggers, Dr. Judy Melinek, (Forensic Pathology Forum), raising some of the ethical questions that confront forensic experts; A highly experienced board-certified pathologist, Dr. Melinek often focuses on the need for forensic pathologists to act independently and professionally in the criminal justice process, as is evident in the following post from her Blog.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Dr. Judy Melinek's Blog 'Forensic Pathology Forum'  is a breath of fresh air. A highly experienced board-certified pathologist who  blogs about forensic pathology and science in the news,  she often  focuses on the need for forensic pathologists to act independently and professionally  in the criminal justice process- as is evident in the following post; 

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

POST: "Ethics and forensic experts" by Dr. Judy Melinek, as published on her Blog 'Forensic Pathology Forum'  on April 26, 2016. (Dr. Melinek is a ABP board-certified forensic pathologist practicing forensic medicine in Alameda county and San Francisco, California and CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. Dr. Melinek trained as a forensic pathologist at the New York City Medical Examiner's Office from 2001-2003, which is the subject of her memoir, co-authored with T.J. Mitchell, "Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner." She has consulted and testified in criminal and civil cases in New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Oregon and California. Dr. Melinek has been qualified as an expert witness in forensic pathology, neuropathology and wound interpretation. She has had subspecialty training in surgery and has published and consulted on cases of medical errors and therapeutic complications. She trains doctors on forensic pathology, proper death reporting and certification.)

GIST: "Forensic science is popular on television, yet we don't often hear about the ethical challenges that vex forensic experts. One of the few that gained attention in the press in the past year was a story out of Boston in which an assistant district attorney allegedly tried to influence the testimony of a forensic pathologist in a child abuse case. The pathologist felt "bullied" by the attorney to stick to his original determination of homicide, even though the scientific literature and new evidence in the case did not support it. He memorialized his impression in a note in the Medical Examiner's chart, which was eventually released to the defense; he amended the manner of death, and the ADA dropped the charges, but in another child death case the same ADA was barred by a judge from contacting and attempting to influence another medical examiner."
(Full article here:

The entire post can be found at:

Check into  Dr. Melinek's Blog at the link below:


I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:;

Harold Levy;