|Head of Department||YBrs. Dr. Mohamad Azaini bin Ibrahim|
Forensic medicine refers to the application of medical knowledge in resolving medico-legal cases. The main function of the field is to conduct post-mortem examinations on bodies brought in by the police to determine the cause of death.
A medicolegal autopsy can only be performed in a Government hospital by a fully registered Government Medical Officer according to Section 330 Criminal Procedure Code. Current policy and court precedence requires a Forensic Specialist to perform autopsies for homicide cases, for deaths in suspicious circumstances and in major disasters as well as deaths in custody and in high risk autopsies.
After conducting the postmortem examination, the Forensic Medicine Specialist will produce an autopsy report based on the autopsy finding, histopathological examination, and the laboratory analyses of sampled tissue.
Other unique skills required from a Forensic Medicine specialist are examining skeletal remains (Forensic Anthropology), and conducting a Clinical Forensic examination on living detainees or suspects and victims of crimes. In addition to that, Forensic Medicine specialists are also well trained in managing mass fatality incident, crime scene or death scene examination, and high risk autopsies.
They will also be required to present themselves in court to provide expert testimony based on the reports produced.
Forensic medicine is a branch of science which applies medical knowledge in the court of law.
Prior to the year 2002, the Forensic Unit was part of the Pathology Department in Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) providing mortuary services. However, due to the rising importance of forensic medicine in assisting the judiciary within the legal framework, the National Institute of Forensic Medicine (IPFN) was established in April 2002.
The establishment of IPFN under the 9th Malaysian Plan (RMK9) is intended to revolutionalise forensic services in Malaysia. The Department of Forensic Medicine at HKL is also the headquarters and referral centre for the whole country. There are currently 6 forensic pathologists located in HKL, with more than 600 forensic cases per year.
The Department of Forensic Medicine aims to provide excellent and dynamic forensic service applying state of the art technology in forensic medicine. This service supported by well-informed staff who are forthright and sensitive to the needs of clients based on deliverance of a quality service grounded with teamwork and professionalism.
The Department will strive to be the centre of excellence in the field of forensic medicine through the provision of efficient, effective and professional forensic medicine services in accordance with Malaysian law as well as fulfilling the Quality Management system which focuses on consumers’ priorities.
The Department will ensure that quality forensic medicine services are provided:
1) through personnel who are knowledgeable, skilled and sensitive towards consumers’ needs.
2) based on a corporate culture of caring, teamwork and professionalism.
3) bound within the Malaysian legal system.
Objectives and Functions
1) To provide independent and impartial forensic medical services that meets the requirement of the Malaysian legal system.
2) To provide efficient dead body management services that fulfill customer needs.
3) To conduct professional, efficient and effective examination of forensic medical cases.
4) To provide consulting services in the management of forensic medical cases.
5) To manage forensic tissue specimens and maintain the chain of evidence (preservation of chain of custody) of the specimen while in custody.
6) To ensure that the preparation of forensic medical reports, the handling of forensic medical report applications and the storage of forensic records are managed effectively and systematically.
7) To build on knowledge and skills through Continuous Medical Education and training.
8) To conduct research in the field of forensic medicine and to collaborate with relevant medicolegal agencies for that purpose.
9) To provide specialized services to manage Mass Fatality Incidences, CBRNE incidents (chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear and explosives) and infectious disease outbreaks (such as SARS, COVID).
1) All customers will be treated with professionalism, honesty, and sympathy.
2) A 24hour service will be provided for death case management.
3) The process of body transfer to the claimant/next of kin is in accordance with the Department’s Standard Operating Procedure.
4) Each forensic medical case examination will be conducted according to the Department’s Standard Operating Procedure.
5) Each medicolegal specimen will be handled according to the Department’s Standard Operating Procedure.
6) Management of forensic medical reports will be handled in accordance with established procedures.
7) All forensic medical case information will be handled with confidentiality.
1. Receipt of body from within the Hospital,
2. Receipt of body from outside the Hospital (Brought In Dead),
3. Body Storage,
4. Medicolegal Autopsy,
5. Handling of Medicolegal Autopsy Specimens,
6. Body Release,
7. Unclaimed Body Disposal,
8. Handling of Forensic Medical Report,
9. Clinical Forensic Case Management.
In this Department, training is divided into internal and external trainings.
In this Department, training is divided into:
1) The Internal Training for Department’s Staff includes:
a) Proper Skill and Correct Approach in the Management of Forensic Cases for Forensic Medical and Scientific Officers,
b) Weekly Autopsy Cases Review by Consultants, Specialists and Medical Officers for Departmental Staffs,
c) Post Basic Course in Forensic for Medical Assistants,
d) Hands on training of Disaster Victim Identification.
2) The Training for External Agencies includes:
a) Master of Forensic Pathology Programme (Local Postgraduates Master Programme),
b) Forensic Posting in Master of Anatomic Pathology (Local Postgraduates Master in Anatomy Pathology Programme),
c) Attachment in Department for Medical Officers from Referral Hospitals,
d) CME/Lectures for House Officers from Kuala Lumpur Hospital,
e) Forensic Posting for Undergraduate Students from UPM, UNIMAS, IMU, USM and other Medical Colleges,
f) Basic Introductory Course in Forensic Medicine for Police Officers,
g) Basic Introductory Course in Forensic Medicine for Military Officers,
h) Basic Introductory Course in Forensic Medicine for Legal Officers,
i) Conducting Phobia tests for Malaysia SMART Team candidates,
j) Academic visits from various schools, colleges, institutions of higher learning and universities.