June 2, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(22):1700. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510490046008

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It is a familiar fact that at the present time and under the system of practice now in vogue our courts are prevented from using expert medical knowledge in such a way as to secure directly, and to the fullest extent, the assistance that such knowledge is capable of giving to the administration of justice. The fundamental difficulty is that the final decision of complex, technical medical questions must be given by persons who lack the technical knowlege necessary, namely, the court and the jury; and this they must endeavor to do on a basis of more or less contradictory facts and opinions that are brought before them in a most confusing and cumbersome manner, to wit, by the so-called battle of experts.

It is evident that in many cases involving problems of a purely technical medical nature the persons best able to adjudicate with justness the medical questions at

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