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April 1970

The Malpractice Dilemma

Author Affiliations

Pasadena, Calif
From the Department of Surgery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1970;100(4):325-329. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340220001001

It is with deep gratitude and a profound sense of humility that I have been allowed to serve as president of the Western Surgical Association this 77th year of its existence. It is an honor that I will cherish for the rest of my life; and now, with your kind indulgence, I would like to review with you one of the more difficult problems the medical profession is facing today.

In the years around 1906 there was considerable debate among members of the Los Angeles County Medical Association centered upon the raising of the annual dues of that association from $4 to $5. The increase of $1 was thought to be partially justified because one half of the $1 increase was to be ear-marked for defense of the members of the association involved in malpractice claims. In 1969, search for adequate defenses against steadily increasing claims, both in numbers and

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