Dr. Sam Rowlands, FHSS Visiting Faculty, has just published an interesting article on ‘On being an expert witness in sexual and reproductive health’. The paper will appear in the Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care . In this article Sam highlights that expert witnesses need to be able to apply appropriate legal tests to the evidence, to deal with the range of expert opinion on a matter, and explain clearly what constitutes an appropriate standard of care for a clinician in their discipline and specialty. They must be aware of pitfalls such as being sued for substandard work and being reported to their professional regulator for straying outside their area of expertise. Expert witnesses must be truly independent and ideally their reports should be the same whoever they receive their instructions from.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Rowlands, S. ‘On being an expert witness in sexual and reproductive health’. J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2015-101385 (forthcoming/online first)