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Medicolegal Consequences of Trauma

Jerzy Gajewski, MD, PhD
JAMA. 1994;271(4):324-325. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510280092050.
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Medicolegal Consequences of Trauma is a catchy title, likely to attract the attention of a large number of professionals, legal and medical, involved in determination of workers' compensation claims, disability, or even litigation related to motor vehicle accidents. Whether readers find what they are looking for will depend on their specific needs.

The 19 individual chapters, contributed by 28 authors, mostly physicians, are generally unrelated to each other. The introductory chapter on workers' compensation law, written by a lawyer, underscores the fundamental difference in legal and medical approaches. Pronouncements appearing to have very little validity from the scientific-medical point of view become legal guidelines when originating in the courts. This issue is masterfully summarized by N. Hadler in a most elegantly written chapter on the effect of trauma on arthritis: "While scientific truth is welcomed in the legal process and valued in the clinical process, it does not subsume legal


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