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Comment & Response
May 16, 2017

Legal Ramifications of Ambiguous Clinical Guidelines

Author Affiliations
  • 1Office of Airmen’s Counsel, US Air Force, San Antonio, Texas
  • 2School of Osteopathic Medicine, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas
JAMA. 2017;317(19):2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.4501

To the Editor In their Viewpoint on clinical practice guidelines, Drs Klasco and Glinert1 highlighted the impracticality of ambiguous recommendations and issued a much-needed call for clarity. Clinicians making real-world decisions in an uncertain environment require actionable guidance, not equivocation. However, we are concerned that the authors’ analysis of the problem overlooked the use (and misuse) of clinical guidelines in medical malpractice litigation.