San Francisco: Departments
There is no history currently available
for this department.
In the Announcement of Lectures for
1874, Dr. Ambrose A. O'Neil, dean of the faculty, published the
following description of the course titled Medical Jurisprudence
and Mental Diseases: "The lectures in this department will exhibit
the principles of legal medicine and the duties of medical men as
experts in giving testimony in courts of justice, and in the examination
of medico-legal questions; embracing a view of insanity, suicide,
infanticide, legitimacy, poisoning, death and injuries from violence,
feigned sickness, duties of coroners, and other topics of practical
importance, whether to the student of medicine or of law; together
with a thorough course on the various diseases of the mind, so common
in the State."
In 1878, Dr. George A. Shurtleff was appointed
professor of mental diseases and medical jurisprudence. In 1885,
Shurtleff was succeeded by Dr. Jules Simon, who held the office
until 1887 when he was replaced by Dr. William H. Mays, professor
of mental diseases and medical jurisprudence, who in turn was replaced
by Dr. John W. Robertson, lecturer, in 1891. Ten years later in
1901, the Department of Mental Diseases was separated from the Department
of Medical Jurisprudence and the curriculum in the latter department
was altered to compensate for this dichotomy. The emphasis was shifted
from medicine to the law, and Louis de F. Bartlett, special lecturer
on medical jurisprudence, was the first lawyer appointed to have
charge of the course in medical jurisprudence.
In 1906, Arnold A. D'Ancona, dean of the Medical
School, recognizing the accelerated evolution of medico-legal responsibilities
and hazards and the increasing liabilities incurred by the physician
in his daily work, presented a lecture or lectures on malpractice.
In 1912, D'Ancona was succeeded by Dr. Herbert C. Moffitt as dean
of the Medical School while D'Ancona remained as lecturer for the
Department of Legal Medicine with the course covering: "1. Technique
of medico-legal postmortem examinations; 2. Toxicology from the
chemical and legal points of view; 3. Biological aspects; and 4.
Legal regulation of medical practice, rules of evidence."
Drs. Daniel W. Burbank, Eugene M. Prince, and
Paul S. Marrin succeeded each other annually as lecturers in the
department. Dr. Marrin held the post for eight years and was succeeded
in 1932 by Alexander
M. Kidd, professor of law in the University's School of Law.
In 1939, it seemed time for reorientation again
and Dr. Langley Porter, dean of the Medical School at that time
appointed Dr. Jesse L. Carr chairman of the department.
After the 1940's, many changes occurred within
the department. In 1957, a proposal to give legal medicine full
departmental status was supported by Dean John B. deC. M. Saunders,
who had strong interests in the forensic sciences. This proposal
was approved by the Regents and independent department status was
granted in 1958. source