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May 12, 1999

Legal Implications of Practicing Alternative Medicine—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(18):1698-1699. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-18-jac90004

In Reply: Our study examined the risk of malpractice liability that physicians face when they refer a patient to an alternative medicine practitioner for treatment. Provided the practitioner is licensed and the referral satisfies several "common sense" requirements, we concluded on the strength of existing legal principles that the risk is not large. Dr Weintraub describes 2 cases that point toward a different but important legal issue: the liability risk facing physicians who actually deliver alternative therapies.