The victim as object of the medico-legal intervention.

Teresa Magalhães


We present a reflection about the victim as the object of the medico-legal intervention, that opens perspectives not only to the evidence research (as a techno-scientific contribute to support Justice in what concerns bio-psycho-social questions), but also to the support of victims which, in a last analysis, is no more than another aspect of this the social contribution of this science to ensure the best interest of the victim. This reflection aims to contribute to a better knowledge of the victim in his/her various perspectives. Accordingly, during the exposition, we refer some contributes of Victimology towards the understanding of the victims' behaviour's. Afterwards, we focus on the problems related to the aetiologies (with a particular reference to trauma), levels and consequences (physical, psychological and socio-economical) of victimization, as well as the methodologies of victims approach, medico-legal evaluation and reparation. Considering victims as being not only those who suffer directly the consequences of the victimizing phenomena, but also those that suffer from it indirectly and even secondarily, we shall approach the topic regarding both perspectives. We highlight the importance of understanding the victim as a person, not just understanding him/her confined to the organic aspect (as it used to be until recently in certain fields of medico-legal intervention, and as it still happens due to some legal obligations, for instance in the Labour Law), but considering the person in a global way (body, capacities, life situations and subjectivity). In conclusion, we highlight the importance of this topic to the medico-legal mission, while taking part in various multidisciplinary interventions and being involved in strategies and measures which purpose is to prevent violence, promote safety, avoid secondary victimization and revictimization as well as guarantee the victims' protection and reintegration, in a work attitude that should happen, even more and more, as a real network.

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