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January 14, 1888

EXPERT TESTIMONY.Read in the Section on Medical Jurisprudence, at the Thirty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1887.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1888;X(2):35-38. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400280003002

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"To know facts, to separate them from supposition, to arrange and connect them, to make them plain to ordinary capacities, and, above all, to point out their useful applications, should be the chief object of ambition."—William Hunter.

There is no intention in this paper to indulge to any degree in a legal criticism of the subject about to be presented. The question as to what constitutes an expert witness; what constitutes expert testimony, and what testimony constitutes evidence; what sorts of testimony are admissible, and what are not, and many things besides, germane to the subject, will be omitted, since they belong more strictly to the purview of the law. The most that will be attempted will be to present a few reflections upon the moral aspect of the subject proper in its relation to members of the medical profession. For this two reasons are offered: One is that, from

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