Expert Testimony in Nineteenth Century Malapraxis Actions
American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 55, p. 284, 2015
15 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2014 Last revised: 15 Oct 2015
Date Written: December 5, 2014
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: Suggested Citation