What Risk Managers Should Know About Medical Testimony

Marcus, Eric H.
April 1987
Risk Management (00355593);Apr87, Vol. 34 Issue 4, p70
Trade Publication
This article discusses the considerations that risk managers should take in understanding medical claims. Before discussing the bottom line in handling medical claims, one needs to examine medicine and medical practice from a broader perspective. In relation to the relationship between medicine and science, all science is allegedly the result of the scientific method. Such a process establishes patterns of predictability or probability which provide evidence that a given scientific theory is both reliable and valid. Validity, which allegedly is a scientific context, means that different experimenters doing the same experiment will come up with the same result. Reliability, on the other hand, means that the same experimenter repeating the same experiment will come up with consistent results. In addition, beyond such fundamentals are other issues, such as ethics, politics, religion, and value systems. But such variables are personal and therefore not reliable or consistent. In answering a question regarding whether medicine is considered a science, it has been said that science is only about one hundred years old, as of April 1987, while medicine goes back several thousand years to the Greeks. Starting with Galen in ancient Greece and before the methodology of scientific proof evolved, medicine has allegedly had a long tradition.


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