Whether there has been a 'total and permanent loss' of the sense of taste or the sense of smell has to be certified by a 'medical board' under S42(5) of the 1971 Act.

After 22 June 1992, decisions under S42 of the 1971 Act are made by one legally qualified medical practitioner (a 'medical referee') appointed under S57 of the SRCA, in compliance with S57(1) which prohibits the use of medical panels.

See the previous discussion of Medical Referees at 8.8.4 in the similar context of assessment of severity of facial disfigurement under the 1971 Act. Refusal to cooperate in a medical examination is discussed at 8.13later in this chapter.