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Introduction of “a disability certificate” for Sri Lankan civil compensation cases


S. M. H. M. K. Senanayake

Teaching Hospital, Anuradapura, LK
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In Sri Lanka, obtaining medical evidence for civil compensation cases is difficult and expensive for the plaintiff because of compulsory transfer of government medical officers in every four years. Therefore, Judicial Medical Officers (JMO) are frequently summoned by Judges and prosecutors because a JMO has examined the patient and is trained to give evidence in courts. The respondent party usually opposes stating that JMO had only medico-legally examined the patient, hence, is not an expert to describe the ordinary outcome of the patient. However, lot of compensation cases had been concluded by granting compensations from medical evidence of JMO who prepared evidence with re-examination of the patient and consulting clinicians. Introduction of a detailed medical certificate which could be named “disability certificate for compensation purposes” for all civil compensation cases to help courts is a timely necessity in Sri Lanka. The certificate should include the history of the incident, initial examination, diagnosis, summery of the management, condition at the time of discharge, summery of clinic follow-up, all disabilities (temporary partial, temporary total, permanent total and permanent partial) with relevant durations, outcome of each disability, effect of each disability on his earnings and personal life. This certificate is to be signed by the clinician/s and JMO, issued when requested by the patient before filling the compensation court case and if necessary before the trial date. JMO is to give oral evidence first, based on this report and if required, clinician is to be summoned only to address unsolved issues, so to minimize unnecessary harassments to large number of patients managed by the clinician. Respondent party will also have the opportunity to request a new examination and a new certificate by different medical experts. This certificate will educate judiciary, prosecution and defense. It will expedite the civil compensation procedure, minimize the burden on clinicians, prepare medical personals to give oral evidence and minimize the expenses for the victim.
How to Cite: Senanayake, S.M.H.M.K., 2017. Introduction of “a disability certificate” for Sri Lankan civil compensation cases. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 7(1), pp.8–12. DOI:
Published on 02 Feb 2017.
Peer Reviewed


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