As the practice of science-based medical evidence has challenged the medical profession to consider the scientific bases for its methods and procedures, on a seemingly parallel path, the United States Supreme Court's 1993 decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals has challenged the legal system to consider the science underlying claims of medical expertise. This article examines how the legal system has responded to that challenge and why the response has been more limited than many had expected; the implications of the legal system's approach to scrutiny of claims of medical expertise for the practice of science-based medical evidence; and, the central elements of any meaningful change in legal assessments of expertise in medicine and health care.

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