6 Med. Sci. & L. 1 (1966)

handle is hein.journals/mdsclw6 and id is 1 raw text is: 



                                                 and the LAW

   Vol.   6                   January 1966                        No. i

Tl   last year has shown signs of an almost explosive alertness to the existence of
medico-legal problems in the medical, social and political fields.
   The  recently published report of the Committee under the Chairmanship  of
Lord  Brain is a remarkably concise and authoritative document on the very real
problem of addiction to Heroin and Cocaine. Its contents underline to anyone who
has experience, the fact that the problem is really more social and epidemiological
than medical.  The infectious nature of the spread demands some urgent control
measures, and yet the lack of real knowledge of the psycho-pharmacological issues
involved, underlines the necessity for better co-ordination and research. This is
perhaps even more  apparent with the greater problem of alcoholism for there are
still many who do not believe (or want to believe) that it exists, whilst the number
of specialists in the fields of drug addiction and of alcoholism are very few, and
even some  of them have acquired their experience in the last few years. It is not
surprising, therefore, that an atmosphere of defeatism exists as to the possibility
of  arrest  let alone cure. This same haphazard approach can be seen in many
other  medico-legal fields, for example,  accidents on the road  where  the
obvious  but not necessarily the most significant causes, take precedence to the
Overall conception. It does not come  as a surprise to find that the Automobile
Manufacturers Association in the United States are employing a firm of professional
investigators and research workers to make an overall survey.
    On  the other hand, the establishment of a Scientific Advisory Council by the
 Home  Secretary represents an approach which is to be welcomed  as a method
 of appraisal of the problems of ever increasing crime by scientific experts who are
 not already closely associated with them, and who will be able to approach the
 whole matter with complete detachment.

                                             I                   M.S.L.-1

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