50 Med. Sci. & L. 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/mdsclw50 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Biography of the President




Dr   Roy   Palmer LLB MB BS FFFLM
President of the Academy 2009-2011



Roy Palmer was born in Peterborough but spent much of his
childhood in  Southern Rhodesia  (now  Zimbabwe).  He
returned to the UK following the death of his father and,
after school, read medicine  at  the London   Hospital
Medical College at a time when Francis Camps was the pro-
fessor and 'Taffy' Cameron the senior lecturer in forensic
medicine. In those enlightened days, a course of lectures
in forensic medicine was not only part of the undergraduate
curriculum but the lectures were well attended. After quali-
fication and junior hospital appointments at St Margaret's
Hospital, Epping, he  entered general practice on  the
borders of Hertfordshire and Essex.
  Whilst in general practice, his interest in the law and his lack
of interest in physical exercise (a favourite aphorism being
'Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling
passes' [Robert Maynard Hutchins, American academic]) led
him  to read  for the external LLB  degree of London
University. In the course of so doing he was appointed an
Assistant Secretary (now a medicolegal adviser) to the
Medical Protection Society (MPS) in 1973. He completed the
law degree and went on to read for the bar, being called by
the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 1977. In
1985 he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the MPS and, in
1989, Secretary and Medical Director. During 27 years of
service at MPS he saw  great changes in the medicolegal
scene and the development of specialist practitioners in the
field of legal aspects of medical practice.
  He left the MPS in 1999 and pursued other forensic inter-
ests. After some medicolegal consultancy work  for the
Cayman   Islands Government,   he  was  appointed  an
Assistant Deputy Coroner in Inner South London, based
in Southwark. In 2000 he was appointed Deputy Coroner
in West London, relinquishing that appointment when, in
2001, he was  appointed HM   Coroner for the Southern
District of London (comprising the four London Boroughs
of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon and Sutton). Since 2002 he
has also been Deputy Coroner  to the City of London. If
only he  had been  better capable of recognizing tissues
under the microscope, he might have enjoyed a career in
forensic pathology!
  He  has served as President of the Section of Clinical,
Forensic and  Legal Medicine  of the Royal  Society of


Medicine, as President of the Medico-Legal Society and as
President of the South-Eastern England Coroners Society.
Currently  he is  Honorary  Medical  Secretary of  the
Coroners Society of England  and Wales  and  chairs its
Medico-Legal  Committee,   serving inter alia on   the
Coroners Advisory  Group of the Ministry of Justice and
participating in the  Ministry's training programmes
for coroners. He is a foundation Fellow of the Faculty of
Forensic and Legal Medicine  and  serves on one of its
committees.
  Apart from work, he is President of The Society for Relief
of Widows  & Orphans  of Medical Men (a medical charity
founded  in 1778)  and has  just completed a  term as
Chairman  of  the Livery Committee  of  the Society of
Apothecaries of  London.  His  extracurricular activities
include attending classical music concerts and opera.

                            DOI: 10.1258/msl.2009.009014


Medicine, Science and the Law 2010; 50: 1

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