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March 2, 1963

Liability for Prenatal Injuries

Author Affiliations

AMA Law Department

JAMA. 1963;183(9):805. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700090125026

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To the Editor:  —This brief article was intended to point up the growing legal risk to physicians in connection with prenatal injuries. Perhaps it did not do justice to the court's analysis of the evidence on causation. The court did not, on its own, attempt to decide what the probable cause of the cerebral palsy might be. It merely evaluated the testimony of the doctors presented by both sides. It held that there was ample evidence to permit a jury to find that negligence of the physician in failing to discover and treat a serious anemic condition of the mother was, more likely than not, a cause of the cerebral palsy in the child.The medical testimony relied on by the court may be summarized as follows: (1) Anoxia developed in the child during the delivery. (2) The purposes for treating anemia in a pregnant woman are to minimize the

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