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September 1, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(1):40. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970180042013

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At irregular intervals for over 100 years, the American Medical Association has been concerned with the need for improvement in both the quality and the quantity of medicolegal investigations in many parts of the United States. In 1855 a committee was appointed by the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association to report what measures should be adopted to remedy the evils then existing in the methods of holding coroners inquests "by which the lives and liberties of the innocent may be jeopardized, and the ends of justice frustrated." Through the years committees were appointed, investigations and studies made, and reports given, and in 1948 the House of Delegates adopted a report of its Reference Committee on Reports of Board of Trustees and Secretary that stated in part: "The Medical Examiner: It is noted with considerable interest that the coroner-medical examiner system is gradually replacing the old coroner system....

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