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November 22, 1924


JAMA. 1924;83(21):1698-1699. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02660210068022

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The Hadwen Case  In my last letter I gave a full outline of the trial and acquittal of Dr. Hadwen on the charge of manslaughter. The great public interest in the case continues, as is shown by the extensive commentary in both the medical and the lay press. For the reason that every physician should know the circumstances under which he is liable to be indicted for manslaughter when a patient dies under his hands, the Lancet has issued a special supplement of sixty-five pages (about equal to one of its ordinary issues) giving a verbatim account of the trial. In an editorial it points out that Dr. Hadwen was acquitted because, holding the views that he did, his conduct did not amount (in the words of the judge) to "wicked negligence." The jury was not asked to decide whether the child died of diphtheria or not or whether Dr.

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