Excerpt from Lithotomy: Its Successes and Its Dangers; Being a Verbatim Report, From Shorthand Notes, of an Inquest Held Before the City Coroner; With a Preface and Commentary
In the eyes of the law, medical men are not allowed any special immunity, apart from unqualified practitioners or private individuals, in the treatment of accidents Or disease, and are bound to possess and exercise a large amount of skill and attention in the treatment of disease, and in default of these are equally liable to be judged by a proper tribunal for any laches they may commit 3 but as medicine and surgery do not come within the domain Of exact sciences, a large margin is always left for the exercise of individual judgment in treating dangerous and abnormal cases. How is it possible to estimate correctly the precise value of all the different and ever varying factors of each particular lesion or disease, and arrive at a correct conclusion? Under the most favourable circumstances the solution of the problem can only be an approximation to the truth. It matters little how dogmatically any expert may give evidence in disputed cases, it is simply an indi vidual Opinion, and must be taken quantum vulgar. The judgment can only be arrived at by the balance of the weight of the whole of the testimony adduced, taken in connection with the other facts disclosed in the case.
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