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Professional Liability Problems for the Internist

Ann Intern Med. 1962;57(5):847-853. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-57-5-847
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Over 5 centuries ago, a learned British justice said in a malpractice case: "If a surgeon does so well as he can and employs all of his diligence to the cure, it is not right that he should be held culpable" (1). This basic concept continued through the years and, indeed, was upheld in the American courts in 1897 by the famous William Howard Taft when he said: "A physician is not a warrantor of cures. If . . . a failure to cure were held to be evidence, however slight, of negligence on the part of the physician or


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