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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Doctors and the Law New ed

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James C. MohrProfessor and Chair, Department of History, University of Oregon, USA

ISBN13: 9780801853982
ISBN: 0801853982
Published: June 1996
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Format: Paperback
Price: Out of print

After the American Revolution, the new republic's most prominent physicians envisioned a society in which doctors, lawyers, and the state might work together to ensure public well-being and a high standard of justice. But as James C. Mohr reveals in 'Doctors and the Law', what appeared to be fertile ground for cooperative civic service soon became a battlefield, as the relationship between doctors and the legal system became increasingly adversarial. Mohr provides a graceful and lucid account of this prfound shift from civic republicanism to marketplace professionalism. He shows how, by 1900, doctors and lawyers were at each other's throats, medical jurisprudence had disappeared as a serious field of study for American physicians, the subject of insanity had become a legal nightmare, expert medical witnesses had become costly and often counterproductive, and an ever-increasing number of malpractice suits had intensified physicians' aversion to the courts. In short, the system we have taken largely for granted throughout the twentieth century had been established. 'Doctors and the Law' is a penetrating look at the origins of our inherited medico-legal system.

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