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July 15, 1922


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1922;79(3):180-181. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640030006002

The danger of using the blood group as a means of determining parentage in cases of suspected or known illegitimacy arises from the difficulty in establishing the origin of the particular blood group in each instance. The danger rests solely in the transmission of an unexpected blood group through the germ plasm of a heterozygous parent. The heterozygous status of a parent cannot be foretold today, except by a study of the offspring.

The criteria established by Ottenberg1 to govern the medicolegal application of the blood group are incorrect in some instances, and based on insufficient evidence in others. They would lead frequently to the miscarriage of justice when applied by a court in the adjustment of a dispute concerning parentage. The families used by Ottenberg in formulating his criteria are too small in most instances to justify any conclusions.

Ottenberg has established certain definite laws in connection with

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