Expert Testimony in Nineteenth Century Malapraxis Actions

American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 55, p. 284, 2015

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 2533727

15 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2014 Last revised: 15 Oct 2015

See all articles by Michael Ashley Stein

Michael Ashley Stein

Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School; University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights

Christopher P. Guzelian

Texas State University School of Business

Kristina Guzelian

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Date Written: December 5, 2014

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.

Keywords: torts, medical malpractice, British history, evidence-based medicine, EBM

JEL Classification: K13, K32

Suggested Citation

Stein, Michael Ashley and Guzelian, Christopher P. and Guzelian, Kristina, Expert Testimony in Nineteenth Century Malapraxis Actions (December 5, 2014). American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 55, p. 284, 2015; Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 2533727. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2533727

Michael Ashley Stein (Contact Author)

Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School ( email )

1585 Massachussetts Avenue
Austin Hall 305
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1726 (Phone)

University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights ( email )

Private Bag X20
Hatfield 0028
Pretoria
South Africa

Christopher P. Guzelian

Texas State University School of Business ( email )

San Marcos, TX 78666
United States

Kristina Guzelian

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

1155 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
73
Abstract Views
615
rank
319,929
PlumX Metrics