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March 1988

The Legal Imperative and the Meconium-Stained Newborn

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(3):250. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150030016003

Sir.—I could not agree more with Dr Sepkowitz'1 thoughts in the October issue of AJDC on the influence of legal paranoia in the management of the meconium-stained newborn. I hope more, similar articles will come out to point out the importance of proper management and the harmful effects of "overzealous, harmful therapeutic modalities."

We physicians should realize this when testifying in court against our colleagues. While nobody likes "bad apples," practical and good medical practice does not call for an excess of medical care. MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER—this is the truth and needs to be appreciated.

If we all practice good medicine, standard care will be provided, but following standard guidelines without using discretion will lead to poor, nonjudicious medical care with poor results.