oa South African Family Practice - Part 3 : Medico-legal documentation Practical completion of pages 2 and 3 of the J88 form : review (CPD)



This is Part 3 of a three-part series on medico-legal documentation. Part 1 addressed the knowledge and skills necessary to complete a legal J88 document. Part 2 provided practical guidance on completion of the J88 form in the case of assault. This article will focus on pages 2 and 3 of the J88 document, which deals with the alleged sexual offences of both adults and children. The assumption may exist that the J88 is the only significant document with respect to medical findings in alleged rape and child sexual abuse cases, and that the court needs this information to make a decision on the medical aspects of a case. However, the court needs the information to be interpreted by a medical practitioner, who must indicate the significance of the findings, determine who should supply relevant additional information, and then place the entire picture in context. This article attempts to highlight the value of the relevant aspects, while raising awareness of an unscientific interpretation of clinical examination.


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