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Article
September 26, 1896

THE NECESSITY OF REFORM IN MEDICAL EXPERT TESTIMONY.

Author Affiliations

PROFESSOR OF MENTAL DISEASES, MATERIA MEDICA AND THERAPEUTICS, RUSH MEDICAL COLLEGE; PROFESSOR OF MENTAL AND NERVOUS DISEASES, WOMAN'S MEDICAL SCHOOL, N. W. UNIVERSITY, CHICAGO, ILL.

JAMA. 1896;XXVII(13):686-690. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430910016001d
Abstract

The members of this section, without a dissenting voice, will agree with the title of this paper, and feel keenly the discredit brought upon the profession at every important trial where medical expert testimony is employed.

A trial, as I am writing this, is going on in Chicago in which a dozen medical witnesses are arrayed against each other on the question of the responsibility of a dipsomaniac, one set testifying that he is responsible for the killing of his wife, and the other that he is not. Similar discreditable displays have been witnessed in this city in the Cronin and Prendergast cases; indeed every city and every such trial is a most serious reflection on the integrity and capacity of the medical profession.

Medicine is not pure empiricism. Medical jurisprudence is a great compilation of scientific facts, and their judicious use is essential for the establishment of justice in

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