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Article
June 6, 1959

THE JOINT A. M. A.—A. H. A. COMMITTEE ON PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY

Author Affiliations

Oakland, Calif.

Chairman, Joint American Medical Association—American Hospital Association Committee on Professional Liability.

JAMA. 1959;170(6):673-674. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.63010060004011

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Abstract

During the past decade, the problems of professional liability confronting both hospital and physician have become increasingly severe. Not only has the frequency of claims increased but also the amount of indemnities paid and judgments rendered. In some areas total losses now practically quadruple those of 10 or more years ago. This has resulted in an unprecedented rise in premiums for professional liability insurance, a manifestation of the increasing financial liability of the physician and hospital. Even more important is the indirect effect on the practice of the physician, not only inhibiting his use of the more serious and hazardous forms of medical and surgical treatment but also causing him to practice with one eye on his legal obligations. This is difficult since the practice of medicine generally still remains an art, rather than a business procedure or a purely scientific endeavor.

The problem reached such magnitude for the physician

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