Book Review: Uncertain Causation in Medical Liability by Lara Khoury

Vaughan Black


Khoury has a plan for commanding the attention of decision makers. She is keenly aware that the field she investigates is one where courts have accorded slight attention to theory. She acknowledges early in her book that academic efforts to resolve the conundra of factual causation have only "played a minor role in their solution by the judiciary." She further correctly notes that "decades of theoretical effort have failed to prevent the emergence of practical problems in the demonstration and assessment of causation..." Indeed, she seems to waver between thinking that scholarship has merely been unsuccessful in commanding the attention of courts and the harsher assessment that academic efforts in this field have been demonstrably wrong, or at least have failed to produce satisfactory solutions even at the theoretical level. In any event, regardless of whether she views academic efforts in this area as unsuccessful or merely as ineffectual, Khoury certainly eschews any pretense of engaging at length with any of the theoretical offerings of her predecessors. She disclaims any attempt to "address and solve philosophical or theoretical issues related to causation.



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