To the Editor.
—If it is true, as attorney Hayes says in the editorial in the December issue of the Archives,1 that "... vis à vis expert testimony. It is a physician rather than a patient who determines when and if the medical stop sign has been run" (meaning that it is physicians and not patients and their attorneys who determine if medical malpractice has occurred), then perhaps the role and the significance of the expert witness should be examined closely.It seems, from practical experience, that in those cases of malpractice, other than those in which the negligence is obvious, there are oftentimes extenuating circumstances that are almost impossible to defend against those keen and isolated standards of excellence that should prevail under all circumstances, as the expert witness would have the jury believe.In this light, thus, the expert witness can, under some circumstances, be to a malpractice
Volpintesta EJ. Standard of Excellence: An Illusion?. Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(6):794. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050180024006