As the article [“Do We Need a New Standard of Proof in Medical Malpractice Cases?” Sept. 2014] points out, a higher standard of proof is a partial solution to the problem of marginal and spurious malpractice claims. However, as is also clearly shown, this standard can be completely subverted when “expert witnesses” ignore the standard and mislead juries by misinterpreting it in order to service their clients.
ACEP has crafted excellent expert witness policies and related ethics policies to address the problem of unethical testimony by members. However, the policies are not well-publicized and are largely ignored.
For example, renewal of membership used to carry with it an explicit promise to uphold the ethical standards of the College, including those related to expert witness testimony. Now the renewal document is simply a bill.