“Objection,” said Charles Quick. “That was a compound question.”
“Sustained,” said the judge. “One question at a time, please, Mr. Butler.”
“I apologize to the court, Your Honor.” Paul continued, “Doctor, who drew the circle around P-fifty-six?”
“I did,” Dr. Black said.
“And, why did you draw that circle?”
Now Dr. Black seemed to gather confidence. “A pulse rate of fifty-six is slow for a child, and taken together with the information that she had hit her head, I worried about the possibility of bleeding causing increased pressure within the head since that is known to cause a slow pulse.”
“Objection!” Quick called. “This witness has not been qualified as an expert, so he is not permitted to express opinions but only facts.”
“Mr. Butler?” the judge questioned.
“Well, Your Honor, I see the problem, and we will revisit this issue later in the case. However, as the first physician to examine and suggest treatment for this patient, the doctor had to make decisions about a diagnosis and treatment based on his knowledge and experience.”
“Everything in the record is admissible,” said Quick. “However, the reason for his encircling the pulse figure is not explained in the record and is an opinion. I mean no offense, but the doctor was only an intern at the time—a doctor in training.”
“Objection sustained,” said Judge Davies.
Secretly Paul was pleased. He had managed to focus the jury’s attention on the pulse rate, an important issue in this case. (p. 54) Malpractice! the Novel
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Genre – Steamy Courtroom Drama
Rating – R
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