Bidanset, Jesse H. Department of Toxicology, St. John's University, New York, New York.
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The study of the adverse effects of drugs and chemicals on various biological systems in a medical-legal context. The forensic toxicologist may work with a medical examiner or coroner in order to determine the role that a particular chemical compound may have played in a death. The forensic toxicologist's activities may also involve assessing emergency room patients, helping to determine suitability of an individual for employment or promotion, screening for performance-enhancing drugs in athletes, and working with law enforcement agencies, for example, performing tests to determine if a driver operated a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs (see illustration). The forensic toxicologist is involved not only in the analysis of body fluids and tissue for drugs and poisons but also in the interpretation of the resulting information in a judicial context. See also: Forensic science evidence; Poison
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