The most recent issue of Law Library Journal
features an article on Medico-Legal Research Using Evidence-Based Medicine
by Caroline Young, librarian at Rutgers Law School, Newark, New Jersey:
"Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the use of the current best evidence when making decisions about the care of individual patients. The best evidence comes from a thorough search of the medical literature for articles and other publications that cover medical research and that apply to a patient’s medical problem. In the medical community, EBM is considered the best way to practice medicine. In legal cases where medical evidence is utilized, finding the best medical evidence usually leads to the strongest arguments."
"There are many scenarios that could lead a legal researcher to do medical research. Examples include supporting plaintiffs’ attorneys or medical malpractice defense attorneys in a medical negligence case, supporting faculty doing cutting-edge research on health law issues, or supporting a legal clinic that fights for children with special needs. From a legal researcher’s perspective, medical literature is often needed for medical proof. Because the medical profession uses EBM to weigh the value of medical literature, legal professionals must apply the principles of EBM in order to apply the standards of proof to medical literature. The goal of EBM, to make decisions based on the best available medical evidence, parallels the goal of the legal system to make judicial decisions based upon the best evidence (...)'
"This article provides an introduction to locating and evaluating medical information in the context of EBM. Topics covered include defining EBM and its importance to medico-legal researchers, using bibliographic databases for medical information research, using the EBM method for doing medical research and evaluating information retrieved, and, finally, surveying reliable electronic and hard copy medical resources that lend themselves to the EBM research methodology."
Labels: health law, legal research and writing, science