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Article
March 5, 1892

EXPERT MEDICAL TESTIMONY IN JURY TRIALS.

JAMA. 1892;XVIII(10):304. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411140026006

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Abstract

Recently the public have been treated to several new farces of the old superstition of grouping medical men on two opposite sides of a disputed case in court, involving questions of science.

The lawyers acting as generals, lead the experts up to conflict, enthused with the idea that the truth is the great object of the struggle. In reality, both sides care nothing for the truth; winning the case is paramount to every other object. The expert physician is seductively drawn up to make statements, then driven to retract or qualify them, and pressed to perjury, or so near it that it will be difficult to draw the line. Insulted and prevented from giving only a part of the facts, especially those which favor one or other side of the case, he is made to give a jumbled, confused mass of half truths and facts open to question, and explanation;

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