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June 21, 1995

Mandatory Reporting of Loss of Consciousness or Confusion Due to Alcohol

Author Affiliations

Santa Monica, Calif

JAMA. 1995;273(23):1833. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520470041019

To the Editor.  —In his excellent article, Dr Kitchens1 suggests using the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) to screen patients. Unfortunately, these are hazardous for both the patient and the doctor.On the MAST, item 2 inquires, "Have you ever awakened the morning after some drinking the night before and found that you could not remember a part of the evening before?" At item 8, the AUDIT asks, "How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?"Some states, notably California, mandate a physician to report when any person older than 14 years, whether or not a driver, has experienced one or more occasions during the preceding 3 years of a disorder characterized by lapse of consciousness (including momentary lapses) or an episode of marked confusion caused by

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