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May 11, 1984

Unscientific Administration Protested

Author Affiliations

Wexford, Pa

JAMA. 1984;251(18):2348. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340420020012

To the Editor.—  The longing expressed for a scientific method of decision making for societal change1 is admirable but, unfortunately, unrealistic. It does, however, reflect an attitude characteristic of the physician. From the day we enter medical school we are taught to analyze critically the work of anyone who advocates a change in our clinical behavior. No prudent physician would change his method of practice on the basis of a reported case history. Information obtained from these reportings is for interest only and is tucked back into one's cerebrum for possible use in the future. It is, therefore, difficult for physicians to understand why they should change their behavior in dealing with patients to reduce their liability to malpractice loss as a result of legal decisions being made on the basis of a single case. It is natural for a physician to want to see data to support a