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to insure their lives, with the result that, when unexpected death removes them, their wives and children are left often practically destitute. One might go the length of calling it almost a crime for a man to die and leave his wife without means to support herself, when it could easily have been avoided.
It is not necessary to insure so that the capital sum is paid only at death, though it is advisable to do so when one has a family. If there is no family, the capital sum can be repaid after a certain number of years-at, say, the age of sixty or sixty-five years, or when one's years of professional life are ended (endowment assurance). At that age this sum of money might be very useful, as, for example, in the purchase of an annuity for oneself or one's wife, or as an addition to one's income during old age. Of course the full sum assured would be paid in the event of death occurring at an earlier age.
From every point of view the only wise course is to insure oneself against sickness and accident, and for as large a sum as possible in the event of premature death.
One has to remember that the yearly sums paid as premiums for life assurance represent money saved, and also that no income tax is payable on these premiums, and this at the present high rate represents a great saving.
GIVING OF EVIDENCE IN COURTS OF LAW
THE young practitioner will not have practised long before he is called upon to give evidence in regard to some case.
He may be called upon to give this evidence in :(1) Police courts; (2) magistrates' courts ; (3) coroners' courts; (4) quarter sessions; (5) assize courts, or in Scotland, before the sheriff or before the High Court of Justiciary; (6) in civil courts or in county courts.
The evidence he may be required to give in police or magistrates' courts may be in regard to drunkenness, insanity, etc. He may have to state whether a wound is dangerous to the life of the assaulted person, because, if so, the accused will not be liberated on bail. He may have to state whether a wound is likely to result in "grievous bodily harm to the assaulted person. This may mean that the injury may incapacitate the individual permanently, e.g., stiffness of joint, paralysis of extremities, or whether it will be disfiguring, and this might be of great moment to the assaulted person, as, for example, if she were an actress.
Coroners' Court.-A medical attendant has not infrequently to attend this court to give evidence as to the death of his patient. He must obey the summons of the coroner to attend (the subpœna)
under a penalty of a fine not exceeding £5. He may be required to give a full description of the last illness of the deceased, of the state in which the patient was when he first saw him, etc. He may be questioned as to the cause of death, or as to the external appearance of the body. The coroner may order him to make a post-mortem examination of the body to determine the cause of death. If there is any question of poisoning, the coroner usually instructs the medical man making the post-mortem examination to place the organs in receptacles, and he appoints an analyst to examine them. If nothing is said in reference to this, then it is the duty of the medical examiner to inform the coroner before he commences the post-mortem examination that he will not undertake to make a chemical analysis for poisons.
Should the coroner order a post-mortem examination to be made, then the medical man doing so must allow the ordinary medical attendant of the deceased to be present should he desire to do so, and also to bring with him a medical or surgical expert.
The medical witness at a coroner's court receives fis, per day; and if he makes a post-mortem examination, he receives another £I IS. He should be present throughout the entire inquiry. The coroner may bind over the medical witness to appear and give evidence at the assizes in criminal cases. In the Metropolitan area of London, the above fees are increased by 50 per cent.
No extra fees are paid for adjournments. No fees are payable to the medical witness in a coroner's
court if the death has occurred in a medical institution," e.g., public hospital, infirmary, cottage hospital, lunatic asylum, etc. County councils usually reimburse the doctor for travelling expenses.
Assizes, Quarter Sessions, Petty Sessions, Police Courts.-The fees payable to the medical witness at these courts are £I IIS. 6d. per day if resident within three miles or £3 3s. if over three miles, with third-class return railway fare, or not more than Is. per mile one way if other conveyance be employed. If detained less than four hours only half fees are paid; thus, the usual fee in a police court is 15s. 9d. If you are engaged on two cases in the same court, the fee must not exceed £3 3s. per day. Unless a reasonable sum of money is first tendered to the medical witness to defray his expenses he is not bound to appear at any of these courts.
High Court of Justice (King's Bench, Chancery, Probate, Divorce Courts).-The fee is £I IS. if resident in town, and from £2 2s. to £3 3s. if resident at a distance, with reasonable allowance for travelling expenses, but not to exceed Is. per mile one way. The lower fee is paid in Probate and Divorce Courts if the witness resides within five miles of the General Post Office.
House of Lords.—Fee of £2 2s. per day with travelling expenses, as above, and £1 IS. per day for hotel expenses if away from home.
Court of Appeal.—Fee of £I IS. per day if resident in London, and from £2 2s. to £3 3s. if resident at a distance, with reasonable expenses.
County Court.-Fees from 15s. to 20s. with £1 IS. per day as hotel expenses if absent from home. The
registrars of these courts may, however, increase these fees at their discretion.
In criminal cases the travelling allowances have recently been increased by 50 per cent.
Civil Cases.-The medical witness must arrange with the lawyer as to what his fee is to amount to.
In Scotland, the fees payable to a medical witness in the High Court of Justiciary are £2 2s. to £3 3s., or in the sheriff court £1 Is. per day, or if he comes from a distance £2 2s. per day, with first-class railway fare and £1 Is. per day as hotel expenses.
For making a report as to the cause of death to the procurator fiscal the fee is £1 Is., and for making a post-mortem examination and report £2 2s.
A medical man may be summoned to give (1) ordinary evidence in the same way as any other witness. He may have observed an accident and may be required to give evidence merely as to how it happened.
The fee payable for such evidence is in county courts 15s. per day, with £1 IS. for hotel expenses.
(2) More usually, however, the medical man has to give evidence of a technical or medical nature. He is then a skilled or expert witness and receives a higher fee, viz., £I IIS. 6d. per day if he resides within three miles, or £3 3s. per day if beyond this limit, as well as his railway fare.
In important criminal trials specialists are usually summoned to give evidence. The fees payable to them are arranged by the Crown authorities as the prosecution, and by the defendant's solicitor on the other side. They are usually one to two guineas per day, with one to three guineas for daily expenses.