Rethinking the admissibility of medical treatises as evidence

Am J Law Med. 1991;17(3):209-48.


This Article examines the issues and questions which underlie the debate over the admission of "medical treatises" into evidence. The admissibility of this type of evidence is at issue most often in litigation involving complex medico-legal issues. This article outlines the evidentiary basis for admission of medical treatises and discusses the quality of medical treatises in an effort to determine what value to the fact-finder these treatises actually hold. The authors contend that there is an inherent untrustworthiness associated with medical treatises, but do not go so far as to suggest that medical treatises should never be admitted. The Article concludes that there is a need for greater caution in determining admissibility and recommends safeguards to better guarantee trustworthiness and reliability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Expert Testimony*
  • Female
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence*
  • Male
  • Periodicals as Topic / standards
  • Publishing / standards*
  • Research / standards
  • Scientific Misconduct
  • United States