Irresponsible testimony by medical experts in cases involving the physical abuse and neglect of children

  • Chadwick D
  • Krous H
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Abstract

Irresponsible testimony by medical experts is a growing problem exemplified by three particularly egregious cases reported herein. The types of irresponsible testimony include the witness's absence of proper qualifications, use of unique theories of causation, use of unique or very unusual interpretations of medical findings, alleging nonexistent medical findings, flagrant misquoting of medical journals or widely used texts, making false statements, and deliberate omission of pertinent facts or knowledge. Criteria to qualify as an expert witness in child abuse and neglect are proposed. Finally, physicians, lawyers, and their respective professional licensing boards and societies are urged to develop a process by which such testimony is exposed, peer reviewed, and used in credentialing.

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