books by Simpson


It is hard to fault an autobiography for appearing opinionated and egotistical, but the author seems to approach a number of the contentious cases in which appeared more as an advocate for the opinion he formed than as an analyst.

B. Dickens 1980. Read his full review in Criminal Law Quarterly 1980; 23:125 (




This is a disappointing book. Not a bad one, but a book which does  ot fulfil its potential of being something out of the ordinary.

Raymond Chapman 1969. Read his full review in the Modern Law Review 1969; 32:722 (


Medicine and the Law have for long been somewhat uneasy professional partners. Doctors tend to regard litigation and calls to court as an unwelcome intrusion on their time. They often mistrust the attitude of the lawyer towards medical evidence, and feel insecure because of a lack of familiarity with legal procedure or court practice. As a result, they do not 'perform' as well as they might.

This short guide to medical evidence will, it is hoped, reassure the doctor in his preparation for court attendance and make him a better witness. It is designed to place within arm's reach of the everyday practitioner, the police surgeon and the younger medico-legal pathologist the advice and help he may feel he needs before going to court. Though not aimed at the young barrister - indeed, purposely designed to avoid looking like a law text - this short survey of the medical witness' responsibilities and privileges may perhaps fall into the hands of lawyers to the betterment of mutual understanding.

Simpson (in the introduction)



The modern police officer, for whom this work is intended, needs to have at his elbow or in his pocket a practical guide to current methods of investigation, to the use of ancillary scientific equipment and to the work of the expert on whose skill and experience he can call. He needs to be familiar with the patterns of violence - criminal, suicidal or accidental - with the strange aberrations of behaviour that may accompany mental disturbance, drug intolerance and addiction, and with the oddities of sexual sadism, masochism and transvestism. The modern police officer has now to be a man of many parts, a trained investigator with the patience of his predecessors but also with the knowledge of the immense resources of science and the laboratory equipment by which his work in the field is now supported.

Simpson (in the preface)



It might be felt that death is not a subject that can - or should - be popularized, and that any attempt in that direction would be in bad taste. However, a glance at any section of this magnificant book should be enough to convince even the most critical that its primary purpose is not to sensationalise, but to inform and educate a public which is increasingly demanding more knowledge about more subjects. The book fulfils its objective with taste and sensitivity, and it cannot offend anybody, even the most young and vulnerable. This volume does not have to be hidden away in a cupboard. It can and should be proudly displayed on the bookshelves of any home and valued for the remakable and comprehensive work it is.

Simpson (in the foreward)

It is the author's aim 'to give the subject its vivid colours in life', and he succeeds in doing so - indeed, some readers may find the colours too bright and the smells too strong. The author's style is vigorous and pungent and his book has the directness and informality of oral teaching

R. Whitehead 1947. Read his full review in the British Medical Journal 1949; 2:336 (

The modern medical student's lot is not entirely a happy one, for he is surfeited with much teachig from specialists who naturally regard their own subject as deserving special attention. The case for forensic medicine is a small one by some standards, but it is an important one as well as fascinating, and deserves the close attention of that live and critical body, the medical student.

This short text-book is designed to provide a brief and essentially practical guide - from and English school - to current teaching in forensic medicine. No pains have been spared to give the subject its vivid colours in life, and the amount of technical data and of laboratory procedure (which is properly relegated to the expert in everyday practice) has been reduced to the minimum. The doctor in practice and the barrister at the criminal bar wil, it is hoped, find it a reliable guide to their contacts in practice with the law and medicine respectively.

Simpson (in the preface)


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