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Medicolegal and Ethical Issues in the Practice of Toxicology: A British Perspective

Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues

  1. Denis A. D'Auria MA, LLM, MD, DIH, DipRCPath, CBiol, MIBiol, MFFLM, FFOM (Ireland), FFOM (London) Senior Lecturer in Toxicology and Occupational Medicine1,2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat168

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

D'Auria, D. A. 2009. Medicolegal and Ethical Issues in the Practice of Toxicology: A British Perspective. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Cardiff University, Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology, School of Medicine, Honorary Consultant Physician, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, University Hospital of Wales, The Heath, Cardiff, Wales, UK

  2. 2

    St George's University, Honorary Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Health Sciences, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


Law impacts every aspect of our society. This chapter will examine key areas of interaction between toxicology and the law. These range from the regulation of chemicals through expert evidence, to the communication of toxicological science to the public. Within the context of human experience, toxicologists can contribute to many types of disputes and be drawn into a wide range of circumstances. An underlying understanding of the issues and the objectives that the law seeks to achieve can prevent the toxicologist from falling into a trap and to avoid that most damaging of experience, judicial criticism. The writer's experience has been predominantly in the United Kingdom and in common law systems generally. This chapter will begin with an overview of the legal system. It will then examine a number of areas of concern, such as expert evidence and whistle-blowing, where the law provides something of a safety net for ethical standards. Finally, it looks at a number of emerging areas of interest where toxicologists are increasingly involved.


  • medicolegal;
  • risk management;
  • expert evidence;
  • statutory regulation;
  • personal injury;
  • alternative dispute resolution;
  • claims management;
  • ethics;
  • public statements