Flawed Evidence Denies Drug Victims Justice
A new study by US Professor Donald W Miller MD and British lawyer Clifford G. Miller in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Fall issue shows that valid legal claims of victims injured by medications can, unlike the Vioxx case in Texas USA, be blocked or systematically rejected by expert evidence based on flawed but accepted medical thinking. Courts depend on experts when deciding what causes injuries.
Medicine adverse reactions affect 40% of patients; kill 1:1000 inpatients; 1:10,000 surgical patients; cause 5% of annual UK hospital admissions. Claims blocked include child vaccine and pharmaceutical mercury victims.
The study shows experts can:-
- dismiss evidence that could prove the victim's case;
- rely on biased government and drug company funded research;
- refer to official statements and reports which make the same mistakes.
Dr D Miller, Professor of Surgery University of Washington School of Medicine said:-
"We demonstrate current 'evidence-based medicine' practice is flawed and over-reliant on epidemiology. It discards or downgrades important evidence, including eye witness testimony so fundamental in legal cases. Epidemiology is not 'science'. Its findings are not irrefutable. Investigators can manipulate epidemiologic statistics to produce results favouring the view officials paying for a study want. In medicine there are other kinds of evidence that, placed in a 'factual matrix', have probative value. A recent University of Washington study, for example, shows parents are reliable witnesses when reporting their children developed normally before regressing and becoming autistic. Medicine has a lot of catching up to do in how it treats evidence."
Co-author, Clifford Miller, British commercial lawyer, former university law lecturer, and graduate physicist, London, England said:
"Whilst medicine can be sophisticated, it is not science but tries too hard to be. Aspects of its evidential practices are stone age compared to other fields. Some UK and US judges and lawyers are knowledgeable about medicine, but must rely on expert testimony when deciding cases. Expert opinions based on flawed practices can cause injustices."
"On Evidence, Medical and Legal" - http://www.jpands.org 01-Sept-2005
Professor Donald W Miller
Fax: 001 (206)-543-0325
Pager: 001 (206)-540-1451
Clifford G. Miller
Tel: 011 (208) 663-0044
Fax: 011 (208) 663-0011
011 44 208 663 0044
Cellphone 011 44 7041 976021