Unhealed Wounds: Medical Malpractice in the Twentieth Century

Unhealed Wounds: Medical Malpractice in the Twentieth Century
Neal C. Hogan
October 2002

ISBN-13:  978-1-931202-42-7 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xiv, 258 pages

Price   $70.00


In 1900 medical malpractice was an obscure field, with few cases, small damages, and little case law. Across the century malpractice became a major component of tort litigation and created entire industries of insurance, expert witnesses, and dedicated malpractice attorneys. Concepts from the legal profession, such as "the standard of care" collided with medical practice. The introduction of new medical technologies led to dramatic breakthroughs in care but created confusion over what appropriate care entailed. New rulings on plaintiff's rights in tort law expanded a patient's ability to sue. Juries, courts, physicians, hospitals, medical societies, insurance firms, and legislators were caught in a collision of medicine, law, and technology. No single constituency presses malpractice forward, rather each constituency in turn drove the issue to a crisis in the 1970s.

About the Author

Neal C. Hogan is Executive Director, The Advisory Board Company, Washington DC. He earned his Ph.D from Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, in 1999.