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June 1972

Medical Jurisprudence.

Arch Intern Med. 1972;129(6):1004-1005. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.00320060152040

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Today's physician might claim that the caduceus represents the wand of the therapist entwined by the serpents of the law. America's richly compensated, traditionally respected, yet increasingly maligned medical profession is also the nation's most carefully regulated.

In the medical practitioner's lonely struggle to achieve currency with a logarithmic explosion of journal data, while maintaining a saint's clinic finesse, all too often the dictates of the legislature, the cacophonous regulations of medical administrative agencies and the pragmatic compensatory judgments of the courts remain an area as unfamiliar as the tracings of an electrocardiogram to the layman.

Waltz and Inbau's Medical Jurisprudence is a clearly written, interesting, and comprehensive explanation of the pertinent interfaces of law and medicine. Their introductory chapter describes the jargon and mechanisms of the litigation process. In their succeeding chapters they carefully dissect out the middle peck of what the law regards as "reasonable medical judgment" from

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