Tort reform of another kind: The medicolegal system takes the word of expert opinion over evidence

“When I told my defense attorney of our findings, he said, ‘You don’t need medical evidence to support your treatment. Our experts already exonerated you.’ I said that I still wanted the evidence admitted in court as part of my testimony. But he replied, ‘Medical evidence from clinical trials isn’t easy to get admitted in court. It’s considered hearsay. An expert or defendant can bring his own experience, knowledge, and training to support his testimony, but you can’t bring actual copies of medical or scientific evidence, or quote from it.’

‘You mean I can rely on that evidence to form my opinion, but I can’t cite the data from the clinical trials, or bring copies of the trial results to court? You mean a $500-an-hour expert can say whatever he wants in court, based on his individual experience, but you can’t admit medical data that proves that a specific intervention may have caused or prevented a bad outcome?’

‘Yes,’ my attorney replied, ‘that’s how the medicolegal system works.’”

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