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October 21, 1974

How Would You Decide?

JAMA. 1974;230(3):465-466. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240030077040

THE hypothetical situations presented here are based, in substantial part, on actual court trials. Expert medical opinion is omitted. The reader is invited to draw on his own medical expertise.

On this basis, the reader is challenged to match his evaluation of the claim with the actual jury verdict in a suit involving similar facts. Jury verdicts are found on page 466.

Cerebral Aneurysm Missed  A young man who was employed at a job paying $700 a month fell while riding on a bus and struck his head. He was taken to the emergency room of a hospital, where he was found to be disoriented. He was given medication and was kept in the emergency room under observation for four hours. The emergency room physician made no tests.At the end of that time he was transferred to a second hospital. On arrival he complained of severe head and neck