When Law and Medicine Meet: A Cultural View

  • Lola Romanucci-Ross
  • Laurence Tancredi

Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 24)

About this book


What happens when two systems, law and medicine, are joined in the arena of the court? This work deals with the structure and the premises of two diverse discourse models; the approach is anthropological.

Several chapters are preponderantly based on legal research, addressing cases requiring testimony by expert witnesses on recent technologies used in the laboratories of medical scientists. Descriptions of other societies and cultures consider the identical problems of rights, privileges, and duties, and provide perspectives to cultural self-knowledge.

This volume can be used as a text for courses taught in medical schools and law schools. It will be of particular interest to students taking courses in health science, public health, medical anthropology, forensic anthropology, psychology, sociology, public justice, behavioral sciences, forensic psychiatry, legal anthropology, social welfare, as well as courses on research models.


"This book illuminates our path through the largely uncharted terrain of two diverse systems of reasoning, law and medicine, as they interact in the courts. Through cultural, historical and contemporary examples such as the O.J. Simpson case, it leads us to a new way of knowing."

Igor Grant, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center, University of California, San Diego

"Provides a critical framework for considering science as ‘truth’ and illustrates the political nature of legal functioning. It will enlighten the intelligent lay person and reward the expert as it provides compressed moments of historical and cultural analyses that would make a fine novelist proud".

Leonard V. Kaplan, Mortimer Jackson Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin

"A ground-breaking and original contribution which transcends the isolation between medical and legal thought systems. Refreshingly free of jargon, this is medical anthropology at its most thoughtful and practical, and should be required reading wherever doctors, lawyers and medical anthropologists are trained".

Ivan Brady, Distinguished Teaching Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, State University of New York (Oswego)

"The O.J. Simpson trial is particularly gripping. Science in the laboratory is contrasted with "forensic science", and the epistemology of perception and ideological interpretations are also insightfully discussed. An excellent and well-written book.

Hugo G. Nutini, University Professor of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh


Authors and affiliations

  • Lola Romanucci-Ross
    • 1
  • Laurence Tancredi
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4020-6763-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4020-2757-4
  • Series Print ISSN 1567-8008
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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