Dear Friends,

    I welcome you all to sixth annual conference of ICFMT at Chandigarh, the capital city of twin states of Punjab and Haryana at the foothills of Shivalik range of Himalaya. The ICFMT has completed sixteen years since its inception in 1989 when it made a modest beginning in Delhi by its first meeting at AIIMS which was participated by all the Department of Forensic Medicine of Medical colleges in Delhi. The objective of this congress is to have balanced and simultaneous development of forensic Pathology, Clinical Forensic Medicine and Toxicology.

The subject of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology is an essential subject of undergraduate curriculum thus every doctor to carryout medico-legal responsibilities. This necessitates the core faculty as per MCI rules in every medical college, thus every medical college is having Dept of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. Thus we need large number of experts/teachers to fill up these teaching assignments. In addition the non teaching cadres created by some of the states to carryout the medico-legal work. Thus we have large number of experts available in this field.

Since 1984, after the Bhopal tragedy, there have been world wide awareness regarding toxicology awareness and internal agencies like WHO (International Programme on Chemical Safety) have been promoting to develop toxicology world over and they put lots of emphasis in India also but I regret the specialty which already existed with forensic Medicine have not taken proper notes till date.

We are in civilization of 5000 years history and largest democracy in the world. We are democratic by nature thatís why we have assimilated all the invading civilization. It is hard to identify Greek, Persian or Central Asian blood in the present since they all got assimilated in this civilization.  After 100 years of civilization, in present century this sleeping giant presented its own features. World is interested to invest here, to take advantage of newer economical developments taking place in this country. Investors come for profit. Profit can only be found in the peaceful and crime free society. If we fail to control the crime, the investors will runaway and team of India taking to 21st century will face hindrance. Therefore in present era, forensic medicine, forensic science experts has a special duty to treat the society crime free and duty to take out the country from vicious cycle of poverty leading to crime and crime leading to poverty. We have to change this vicious cycle to virtuous cycle to make society crime free so that economic developments can takes place and entire world is attracted to invest in a fast pace in a crime free society which will give them good dividends.

The difference between rich and poor countries is that rich countries are poor ion resources and poor countries are rich in resources. This is t6he state of society which matters. Rich countries are well organized and crime free while poor countries are unorganized and infested by crime.  We have to create a well organized and crime free society for its overall development. If we fail to do so the consequences may be disastrous and therefore, I stress that forensic medicine and forensic science experts should have a great and bigger role to play in making of the nation.

Recently we have developed a concept of pharmaco-vigilance and I being the member of national pharmaco-vigilance committee. I feel that we should also have a body like toxicovigilance as NGO for which the Department of Forensic Science is a suitable place. Similarly a national body like Forensico-vigilance is also necessary to monitor the practices of Forensic Science and Forensic Medicine and other related fields. We have to develop checks and counterchecks for proper and scientific functioning. I would like to give an e.g. of testing of Aluminum Phosphate which gives 62% false positive results for phosphine being produced by decomposition still consider4ed to be valid test for aluminium phosphide. The science is always a growing subject. Changing Concepts revaluates the national principals. I am happy to know that many of the institutes have started toxicology laboratories. After the AIIMS at PGI has functional toxicology laboratory. Govt Medical College Chandigarh is in process of starting the laboratory. JLN Med College, Aligarh and MGIMS Wardha has started the toxicology laboratory The objective is not to punish people but to improve the system since I stress upon the good laboratory practices in laboratories of department and laboratory of forensic science.

From my experience I have learned that close collaboration between forensic Science and Forensic Medicine Experts is necessary to arrive at logical conclusions. I have an experience of working with various forensic experts in many of the complicated medico-legal situations in this subcontinent. It is always given highly satisfactory results, therefore, I insist of such collaboration and I am looking forward for this. In this conference, forensic science and forensic medicine experts are ion equal numbers. I request you all to join this congress to have more fruitful interactions with each other and for the future growth of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. I propose, the Director Forensic Science as patron of this body.

The pressure of material and money causes the faith as the first casualty leading to the weakening of ethics and morality. This necessitates the need to redefine ethics and morality and creation of awareness. Ethics is a complicated issue particularly in developing world. A new mind may not find anything wrong in cloning or genetic engineering and may get provoked by its immediate benefits but a visionary may see the distortion and destruction of entire human race. Similarly a modern mind may not find anything wrong in euthanasia or mercy killing but thinker may find erosion of belief and sanctity of life or respect for life supporting Hitleric concepts of ethnical cleansings. Therefore, ethics in general and medical ethics in particular were never so important as that of now. It is surprising that forensic science has no ethics of its own, I request Director F Science to create code of ethics of conduct for forensic scientist otherwise they may not find anything wrong in Brain FP and narcoanalysis. For a good society good ethics is necessary.

Dr. T.D.Dogra
President, ICFMT