I have the privilege of Chairing the ASA Committee on Expert Witness Testimony Review. Many members have commented to me that they do not know of the committee or its work, so I’ll try to provide a little insight into the committee’s history and its activities.

The ASA Committee on Professional Liability proposed revisions to the then-current Guidelines for Expert Witness Qualifications and Testimony to the ASA House of Delegates, which were adopted in 2003. The preamble of the guidelines (see www.asahq.org and look for the Standards and Guidelines page under “Expert Witness”) reads:

“The integrity of the litigation process in the United States depends in part on the honest, unbiased, responsible testimony of expert witnesses. Such testimony serves to clarify and explain technical concepts and to articulate professional standards of care. The ASA supports the concept that such expert testimony by anesthesiologists should be readily available, objective and unbiased....

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