Author : Michael Freeman (ed.), Maurice Zeegers (ed.)
Description:Determination of the cause of injury or disease is a pivotal issue in virtually all criminal and civil actions, and one that is often vigorously contested. Despite this fact, there are no widely accepted standards regarding what constitutes scientifically valid evidence of causation in a forensic setting, nor is there a systematic means of quantifying and weighing evidence of causation that is routinely followed. The single most prominent explanation for this situation is the fact that causation cannot be observed, and thus conclusions of causation are not observations but rather inferences based on a presumed degree of association (i.e. risk) between an exposure and injury. In Forensic Epidemiology: Principles and Practice the authors present the legal and scientific theories underlying the methods by which risk is used in the investigation of individual causation. The discipline of forensic epidemiology (FE) is essentially a hybrid of principles and practices common to both forensic medicine and epidemiology. FE is directed at filling the gap between clinical judgment and epidemiologic data and methods in the evaluation of both general and specific (individual) causation in civil and criminal matters.