Since postmortem forensic toxicology involves analyzing body fluids and organs from death cases, interpreting that information and studying the sudden unexpected and/or unexplained deaths as coroner’s cases or fall under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner. Reliable results and valid analytical data are an essential requirement for proper interpretation of forensic toxicology cases, especially when evaluating scientific studies and daily routine work, and when presenting any toxicological findings as criminal evidence.
In contrast, the results of unreliable analyses can be disputed in court and can also lead to unfair legal judgments against the defendant, or can result in wrong treatment in cases of rehabilitation of patients. In order to establish strong evidence and make a correct decision, the lab is asked to give high quality data that are based on reliable analytical methods. For that reason, all new analytical methods used in forensic toxicology including the clinical diagnosis of causes of death require careful care during the development of the analytical method and during its application. This is also an urgent need in the context of quality management and accreditation, especially as those issues have become increasingly important in the science of poisons and drug analysis in recent years.
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