Expert Witness Participation in Civil and Criminal Proceedings

Narang, S. K.; Paul, S. R.

Pediatrics. 2017 Feb 22; 139(3)

Abstract

The interests of the public and both the medical and legal professions are best served when scientifically sound and unbiased expert witness testimony is readily available in civil and criminal proceedings. As members of the medical community, patient advocates, and private citizens, pediatricians have ethical and professional obligations to assist in the civil and criminal judicial processes. This technical report explains how the role of the expert witness differs in civil and criminal proceedings, legal and ethical standards for expert witnesses, and strategies that have been employed to deter unscientific and irresponsible testimony. A companion policy statement offers recommendations on advocacy, education, research, qualifications, standards, and ethical business practices all aimed at improving expert testimony.

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