Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Challenges in Forensic Sampling in The Pre-Analytical Phase While Maintaining Chain of Custo...

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Concept paper

Challenges in Forensic Sampling in The Pre-Analytical Phase While Maintaining Chain of Custody in Sri Lanka and System Improvement in the Medico-Legal Unit of District General Hospital, Matale, Sri Lanka

Author:

P. Appuhamy

District General Hospital, Matale, LK
About P.
Office of the Judicial Medical Officer
X close

Abstract

Chain of custody, in legal contexts, is the chronological document that records the sequence of custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of materials, including physical or electronic evidence. The biggest risk of breaking the chain of custody is holding evidence that is inadmissible in court. If the chain of custody is broken, vital evidence could be deemed legally worthless. The author has observed suboptimal standards for post-mortem sample collection and storage at the Medico-legal unit of Matale. The author noticed a knowledge gap in maintaining the chain of custody among medical officer-medico-legal and morgue health care assistants. The standard operating procedure was implemented to ensure that all stakeholders maintain the proper chain of custody in post-mortem samples. Improvements were also made to increase the security of the Post-mortem sample storage. We suggest the standard operating procedure in the whole country so that the institutions and the stakeholders adhere to the duties specified in the standard operating procedure leading to improvement in the desired chain of custody of the post-mortem samples. It is essential that the College of Forensic Pathologists of Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the ministry of health, develop an updated recommendation on sample collection for medico-legal units of Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka should upgrade the medico-legal units based on those recommendations. We recommend appointing an authorised officer, such as a forensic nurse or development officer, to the medico-legal units to handle forensic samples.
How to Cite: Appuhamy, P., 2022. Challenges in Forensic Sampling in The Pre-Analytical Phase While Maintaining Chain of Custody in Sri Lanka and System Improvement in the Medico-Legal Unit of District General Hospital, Matale, Sri Lanka. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 10(2), pp.12–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v10i2.7468
22
Views
30
Downloads
Published on 31 Dec 2022.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus