The Institute of Forensic Medicine started its operation in 1921 at the University of Debrecen. The institute was headed by Vice Dean Prof. Em. Ferenc Orsós. The name ‘Institute of Forensic Medicine’ was given to it after the 2nd World War and it has been developing ever since and its scope of activities has broadened extensively. The Forensic Toxicological Laboratory under the auspices of the institute started its operation in 1958. The number of forensic and forensic psychiatric examinations has increased significantly. The number of autopsies has doubled since 2008 as a result of a government regulation that assigned the autopsies of people who dies under extraordinary circumstances in Hajdú-Bihar and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg counties to our institute.
2. Main areas of care and specialties
The responsibilities of the Institute (the only competent place to perform tasks accredited by the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service) in connection with deaths of an extraordinary nature in Hajdú-Bihar county also extend to Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county thus tasks related to this field have multiplied:
- toxicological and genetic examinations
- autopsy in cases of extraordinary deaths
- pathology, histopathology
- forensic autopsy, autopsy
- forensic psychiatry
- health insurance medicine
- on-the-spot coronation, permanent readiness
- forensic medical examination of living persons in penal civil procedures.
At present, we have the appropriate experts, licenses and competences for all topics concerning forensic medicine in Hungary. We perform our examinations usually based on the assignment of investigation authorities and courts.
Medical expert work is not financed by the National Health Insurance Fund, there is no patient care provided.
The subjects of the expertise work are clients, not patients.
3. Types of care and services
- Our Institute is outstanding in the field of toxicological examinations. We perform examinations for external health institutes as well.
- The major part of the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory’s job involves toxicological examinations ordered by the authorities (courts, police). The samples are from dead and living persons and we also perform examinations on clues. Based on a 2008 government regulation we have had exclusive rights in the field of forensic expertise.
- In Eastern Hungary our institute is the only one to provide permanent forensic toxicological readiness to facilitate effective and modern patient services.
- Participation in scientific work: the main research field of the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory includes the examination of medicines, medicinal metabolites and substances classified as narcotics.
4. Technology and development projects
Last years’ infrastructural developments include the following:
- setting up a modern dissection room
- a radiation-free room that is suitable for radiological examinations
- a room for inducement and storage of histological samples
- improving and modernizing the circumstances of corpse storage and transportation
- equipment modernization for the toxicology laboratory
Besides traditional forensic expert examinations, we are planning to develop the use of imaging diagnostic procedures (with special regard to CT scanning) as a routine method.