Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stein, Guzelian and Guzelian on Medical Malpraxis

Michael Ashley Stein, William & Mary Law School, and Christopher P. Guzelian and Kristina M Guzelian, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, have posted Expert Testimony in Nineteenth Century Malapraxis Actions, which is to appear in the American Journal of Legal History 55 (2015): 284-97.  Here is the abstract:    
Medical negligence evolved as an independent tort during the nineteenth century. Despite pervasive professional concerns about its ethicality, paid medical expert testimony became routine. In a manner strikingly similar to modern commentary, prominent jurists disparaged testimony for commonly relating anecdotal experience rather than scientifically derived knowledge. Also notable among cases was a dominant tendency to rule for medical practitioners when both parties presented expert testimony. Conversely, suits resolved in favour of whichever party unilaterally retained a testifying expert.