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ARTICLE |

Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case

Lorna A. Marshall, MD
JAMA. 1996;276(19):1604. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540190076036.
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ABSTRACT

Science on Trial is an account of the breast implant controversy. It relates the events that led to the 1992 decision by Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler to ban siliconegel—filled breast implants. It includes accounts of the hysteria that followed and the litigation that eventually led to the largest class action settlement in the history of trial courts. However, the focus of the book is really on what the author, Marcia Angell, MD, believes was missing from this controversy: attention to and respect for scientific evidence as a means to reach the truth.

Angell describes the litigation surrounding breast implants from the perspective of a physician dedicated to the use of the scientific method. As executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, she has followed the events and dealt directly with pertinent studies. Her concern is that greed and emotion, not scientific evidence, have become the

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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