Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorSunstein, Cass Robert
dc.contributor.authorMeadow, William
dc.contributor.authorBell, Anthony
dc.date.accessioned2014-09-08T17:06:59Z
dc.date.issued2003
dc.identifier.citationCass R. Sunstein, William Meadow & Anthony Bell, Statistics, Not Memories: What Was the Standard of Care for Administering Antenatal Steroids to Women in Preterm Labor between 1985 and 2000? (John M. Olin Program in L. & Econ. Working Paper No. 1, 2003).en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12786015
dc.description.abstractWe determined the frequency of antenatal corticosteroid use for mothers with threatened premature delivery in 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000. We next compared published data to the surveyed recollections of 302 obstetricians who were practicing during these years. Two points emerged. First, published reports reveal that the use of antenatal corticosteroids increased steadily, from 8% in 1985 to 20% in 1990, 52% in 1995, and 75% in 2000 (P < .001). Second, “expert” opinions derived from the recollections of practicing obstetricians consistently overestimated the actual use of antenatal corticosteroids during the year in question—31% versus 8% for 1985, 56% versus 20% for 1990, 78% versus 52% for 1995, and 92% versus 72% for 2000 (all Ps < .001). The use of antenatal corticosteroids by obstetricians in the past 15 years reveals a phenomenon that is widely recognized elsewhere—retrospective memories are often wrong, and when they are wrong they are not randomly wrong. Rather, recollections are systematically skewed toward an outcome that, in hindsight, is considered desirable (the "Monday morning quarterback" phenomenon). We offer a simple proposal. In determining the "standard of medical care," the legal system should rely on statistical data about doctors' performance rather than the recollections of experts about doctors’ performance. The fallible memories of isolated experts are a crude second-best, far inferior to the data that they approximate. Widespread adoption of this view by professional physician organizations would dramatically increase the rationality of expert testimony in medical malpractice tort law.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.relation.isversionofhttp://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/law_and_economics/462/en_US
dash.licenseLAA
dc.titleStatistics, Not Memories: What Was the Standard of Care for Administering Antenatal Steroids to Women in Preterm Labor between 1985 and 2000?en_US
dc.typeResearch Paper or Reporten_US
dc.description.versionVersion of Recorden_US
dash.depositing.authorSunstein, Cass Robert
dc.date.available2014-09-08T17:06:59Z
workflow.legacycommentsDFen_US
dash.contributor.affiliatedSunstein, Cass


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record