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June 12, 1972

Malpractice Laws

Author Affiliations

Ridgewood, NJ

JAMA. 1972;220(11):1495. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200110073021

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To the Editor.—  Upon reading a MEDICAL NEWS article in The Journal (220:184, 1972) entitled "Physicians Alerted to Newest Developments in Malpractice Laws," I was most disappointed. The malpractice problem is too complex to be explained in generalities as the news article did.I have recently completed a research project entitled "The Physicians Guide to Medical Malpractice." This guide was constructed to fulfill a college research requirement and, consequently, will not be published.While interviewing various physicians I found most to possess only an elementary understanding of the problem. It is impossible for me to go into details at the present time, but I will include one grossly misunderstood concept that I found.It has been established in most states that a mature minor (15 years and older) can be treated without parental consent. The only stipulation is that the minor have an understanding of the consequences of the treatment,