Students pursuing Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) studies at the Fiji National University (FNU) received significant motivation, and valuable advice from High Court Judge, Justice Thushara Rajasinghe, during the Medico-Legal Workshop held recently at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) Pasifika Campus.
While delivering the opening address at the workshop, Justice Rajasinghe highlighted the similarities between the profession of law and medicine
“Medical sciences is dealing with the internal and external human body, and law is dealing with human relationship between each other and the state.”
“This is how medical sciences and law are interrelated,” he said.
According to Justice Rajasinghe, the assistance of medical practitioners in the criminal justice system was very important.
“The medical practitioners are involved in two ways; as witness of facts and to give evidence and opinion. You are privileged to be part of this noble profession.”
“No one walks into the hospital with a happy mind unless it’s a father to see his newborn, otherwise it is not a voluntary entry.”
“Patients come with their problems and agonies, so make sure to be part of their solution…,” Justice Rajasinghe told the Year 5 MBBS students.
Meanwhile, College Dean, Dr William May, added that opportunities to be part of such workshops did not come regularly.
“As much as your clinical learnings are important, there are many other parallels that are equally important.”
“The practice of doctors is not only guided by ethics, evidence and best practice but also by the law and there are laws that we need to be aware of because it affects our practice,” the senior academic highlighted.
Dr May said doctors played an important role in criminal proceedings for expert opinion or presentation of facts in their field.
He also acknowledged the facilitators of the one-day workshop.
Workshop Facilitator, Head of School of Law at FNU, Ana Rokomokoti said it was essential for students to be aware of what the law demanded concerning their job as Doctors.
“There is always room for improvement in getting students to know what their roles are in the criminal and civil justice system.”
“This workshop provides an opportunity to create awareness among students who are preparing to go out in the hospitals for their internships, that their roles are much bigger than what is being learnt in theories and classrooms,” Rokomokoti commented.
Head of School of Medical Sciences, Dr Odille Chang said the workshop was a collaborative effort between FNU’s School of Medical Sciences and School of Law.
“We have included facilitators from the High Court, Police CID, Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, FNU School of Law and MOHMS she said.