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The epidemiologist in the court: requirements, professional standards, and deontologic considerations


, : The epidemiologist in the court: requirements, professional standards, and deontologic considerations. Epidemiologia E Prevenzione 25(2): 77-80

This paper examines two issues associated with the activity of epidemiologists who act as expert witness in courts: professional standards and deontologic codes. These issues are to be viewed in the light of the various roles the epidemiologist is called to play in court, as consultant for the prosecutor, the defendant and the plaintiffs. The criteria adopted in court should not differ from the ones usually followed in good epidemiologic practice. Potential conflict of interest that may occur when the personal interest of a researcher leads to introduce bias in his/her/witnes is another relevant issue. Another relevant point is how an epidemiologist deals with his/her colleagues in the courts: diversity in opinions and rigorous critics are acceptable but they must be adequately documented.

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PMID: 11417406


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