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Monday, October 20, 2008

Medical & Legal Issues Regarding Brain Injury

What are the medical and legal aspects of Brain Damage or Axonal damage? 
what type of knowledge is neccessary to deal with court cases that may require background knowledge and expertise in looking at the area of brain damage and discuss the intricacies of brain damage and axonal damage to the court officials as well as to the lay people in the jury??. This following article appeared in the latest issue of the newsletter of IBIA (International Brain Injury Association) discusses in detail about what health care professionals should know?.

Medical-Legal Illustration: What Health Care Professionals Should Know

By Robert L. Shepherd, MS, Certified Medical Illustrator, Vice President and Director of Eastern Region Operations, MediVisuals Incorporated

Professionals of numerous medical as well as health care subspecialties are often called upon to provide expert opinions in the context of litigation. Those providing medical-legal opinions may either be called due to their role as a treater of a patient involved in litigation or retained to provide so called “expert witness” testimony because these specialists are recognized as experts in a specific area (even though they may not have treated a patient involved in litigation). In either case, the role of the testifying professional is very important in helping decision makers or triers of fact identify and appreciate the truth in order to achieve just resolution of the contested issue(s). 

For Instance: 

Figure 1:  Example of graphics that can aid expert testimony:  This particular series of illustrations helps demonstrate one of the most difficult concepts for layperson decision makers to appreciate – that is, how brain injuries (traumatic axonal and shear injury) can occur in an individual with only a minor, or sometimes even no significant blow to the head.  The illustrations are also particularly helpful in explaining how an individual can have these injuries, yet the injuries are not evidenced on traditional brain imaging studies such as CT or MRI.   Another very effective animation demonstrating this same phenomenon even more convincingly can be seen at the following link:  http://medivisuals.com/mildtbi

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