Medical Expert Witness Service
- Medical interpretation of drug and alcohol test results
- Enhanced reporting for submission to Family Courts
- Appearance in court to defend clinical recommendations
An independent medical expert witness service – from enhanced reporting to taking the stand in a family courtroom
“Expert witness service” is a broad term. In a childcare case involving alcohol or drugs, it could mean putting lab results into a medical context, or making a formal assessment of the parent. Then when it comes to recommendations, it could mean a written report or speaking to defend conclusions on the witness stand.
The question is always, “what can an expert witness tell you in this particular case – and how are their recommendations best delivered?”
Usually, the answer involves one or more of the following:
When results come back from the lab with a biochemist’s commentary, it’s our job to add the clinical perspective. Using the parent’s medical history and present circumstances, we can stress-test the initial findings and give a measured opinion.
In doing so, we’ll take account of:
- Anomalies, where one blood or hair test contradicts the other
- Contaminants – other means of exposure to alcohol or drugs
- Medical reasons for the presence (or lack) of specific markers
- Behaviour – the observations of our highly trained sample collectors
Our aim is always to find the answers with a degree of certainty, then determine the probable and possible effects: how will drugs or alcohol change the parent’s behaviour, and how do their habits manifest as a risk to the child?
Where medical interpretation leaves questions unanswered, we’ll always recommend a more detailed assessment. Working one-to-one with the parent, our psychiatrist will establish a dialogue, to draw out their life stories and understand their behaviour.
Whether it’s a drug or alcohol habit, we’ll be looking for similar answers – exploring patterns, origins, triggers, predisposing factors and more. It all combines to build a picture, and highlight areas of risk.
Cognitive Capacity Assessment
A psychological evaluation can point towards a lack of capacity, but diagnosis calls for a formal assessment. We’ll determine whether the parent can take care of themselves and others – and if not, suggest how best to keep them under review.
Enhanced Clinical Interpretation
Sometimes, there are lingering doubts. If two sets of lab tests raise discrepancies… if medical commentary is queried… if we can’t give a balanced opinion… then one or both sides may call for an enhanced report.
This may involve further testing – taking new samples, to check for consistencies and add a second timeframe. But often, it’s just a matter of clarification – answering questions that come in response to the initial report.
Either way, we’ll add an ECI as an appendix to the court bundle, so there’s less room for dispute when the case comes to court.
Taking the Witness Stand
Every assessment is carried out by a senior psychiatrist, and written up for submission to the Family Court. Often, the report is evidence enough – but if called on, our psychiatrist will appear at the hearing to clarify their conclusions.
As we work closely with accredited laboratories – and reach decisions with them in tandem – we can also arrange for a biochemist to stand as a separate witness. This can help in cases that hinge on one disputable piece of evidence, as a verdict is easier when two experts are in full agreement.
Why work with Atkinson Lewis?
- A “Data Plus” approach, putting lab results in context
- Medical interpretation by a drug and alcohol specialist
- End to end support: from sample collection to lab analysis and medical review
- MIFA Report: an expert witness statement accepted by UK Family Courts, with options for enhanced reporting and in-court appearance
- All testing conducted by trusted partners in ISO 17025 UKAS Accredited Testing Laboratory – certified for multiple tests inc. hair drug testing and hair/blood alcohol testing
- Friendly, non-judgemental sample collectors working in most UK regions – highly trained to follow strict chain of custody protocols
- Transparent pricing for LAA approval
- Split-billing between all parties involved
- Hands-on customer service team, working all hours to take on new instructions
- Paperless system – from Digital Court Bundle to secure document storage
Our Medical Expert Witness service starts with a MIFA report:
Medical Interpretation of Forensic Analysis
Or click below for other ways we can support your case:
Professionals & Parents Agree
You Can Rely on Atkinson Lewis
An incredible job!Really helpful staff and second-to-none customer service. They are all really approachable and friendly. The collections are always on time and professional. In fact we have never had to deal with a situation in which they have ever let us down. As a result I think we take their brilliant service a little for granted! Thanks Atkinson Lewis for an incredible job!
Always my first point of call
Very helpful and approachable and always on hand to answer any queries. They are very accommodating in terms of setting up appointments and make the process very easy for legal services. Excellent service provided and always my first point of call for any alcohol/ drug or DNA testing.
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