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Nobility in objectivity: A prosecutor's case for neutrality in forensic nursing

Canaff, Roger1

Journal of Forensic Nursing: June 2009 - Volume 5 - Issue 2 - p 89–96
doi: 10.1111/j.1939-3938.2009.01039.x
Original Articles

This article describes the three primary functions that Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) provide to the judicial process from a prosecutor's perspective. These three functions include comfort and care of patients complaining of sexual assault, competent and consistent evidence collection, and expert testimony on anatomy and tissue. The article makes the argument that all three of these functions are conducted more effectively when the SANE maintains her objectivity and neutrality as a medical and scientific professional. Finally, a recent Supreme Court ruling, Crawford v. Washington, might greatly affect a SANE's ability to repeat hearsay statements made to her by patients who become unavailable to testify. The article will discuss the impact of this case, as it relates to the SANE's function as an expert witness and the issue of hearsay admissibility.

1Deputy Chief, Sex Offender Management Unit, New York State Office of the Attorney General, New York, New York

Received: May 16, 2008; accepted: August 20, 2008


Roger Canaff, Deputy Chief, Sex Offender Management Unit, New York State Office of the Attorney General, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. Tel: 212‐416‐6091; Fax: 212‐416‐8597; E‐mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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