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September 23, 1893

LEGAL CRITICISM OF MEDICAL EXPERT EVIDENCE.Read before the Section of Neurology and Medical Jurisprudence at the Forty-fourth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1893;XXI(13):447-452. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420650013001c

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A recent writer in the Columbia Law Times somewhat intemperately characterizes medical expert testimony thus: "Of all the cant that is canted in this canting world expert medical cant is the most pernicious. Of all species of evidence offered in a court of justice, none, not even the testimony of the accused, when a witness on his own behalf is more freighted with suspicion than is the evidence of the medical expert." And quoting Lord Campbell he adds: "They come with such a bias on their minds to support the cause in which they are embarked that hardly any weight should be given to their evidence." The writer then goes on to say that the medical expert in his first estate was a formidable ally of justice, but that the corruptions of the world have demoralized him. "These doctors," says he, "are of the earth, earthly, and their virtue, if

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