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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 22/29, 2001


Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor


Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001American Medical Association

JAMA. 2001;286(8):894. doi:10.1001/jama.286.8.894-JJY10028-2-1

A novelist tells the story that in writing his latest work he called in his family physician to assist him in duly disposing of one of his characters and—here comes the special point of his tale—he received a bill for professional services for the same. While we did not learn the exact state of the author's mind when this occurred, it would appear from his reporting the event that he considered it somewhat extraordinary. Why this should be so is not self-evident unless it be that it seemed to him that doctors could deal only with actualities, and was not aware that medical opinion on fictitious cases has a legally recognized value and is constantly being called for in the courts. The service rendered in this case can hardly be questioned—certainly not when one recalls the too common medical mistakes of writers of fiction. The curious thing is, that the writer who had the sense to call for such aid should have not appreciated its money value.

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