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March 17, 1975

Leading Cases

JAMA. 1975;231(11):1177-1178. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240230051025

EVERY week, there are many court decisions that have an impact on the practice of medicine. These decisions are currently reported, in summary, in The Citation, a newsletter published twice a month by the Office of the General Counsel, American Medical Association.

Some of these decisions are of such special importance that they deserve the wider publicity that can be obtained through the pages of The Journal. Trial court decisions, which are of little precedent value and are subject to reversal, are omitted. Selected decisions are usually restricted to those of the highest state or federal court. It should be remembered, however, that a decision by a court in one state is not necessarily binding elsewhere.

Testimony of Expert Witness  A 17-year-old girl had a tooth extracted. A few hours later she complained of a severe headache. Her mother called the dentist and the dentist told her to call a