International Examinations of Medical-Legal Aspects of Work Injuries

Article excerpt

International Examinations of Medical-Legal Aspects of Work Injuries, edited by Elizabeth H. Yates and John F. Burton, Jr. (Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1998).

Reviewer: William L. Ferguson, The University of Louisiana at Lafayette

International Examinations of Medical-Legal Aspects of Work Injuries is a collection of 28 academic papers that were originally presented in February 1995 at the Second International Congress on Medical-Legal Aspects of Work Injuries, held in Jerusalem, Israel. The book also serves as a timely memorial to Professor James R. Chelius of the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University.

The presentations this volume comprises can be loosely organized into four basic topic areas. The first topic area deals with whether work and nonwork injuries should be compensated differently. The seven papers in this section outline the justification and historical development of the individual workers compensation systems in Israel, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway, as well as comparative overviews and critiques of key aspects of social insurance programs in other countries (e.g., Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Greece). Country-specific distortions and potential corrective reforms of interest to insurance academics, politicians, jurists, employers, employees, and medical practitioners may be gleaned from this section.

The second major topic area, composed of 11 papers, deals with subject areas that encompass the effects of stress in the workplace, workplace violence, occupational disease, gender issues, and other issues. Most of the papers in this section are specific to one particular issue (e.g., mental illness) and are not technical in exposition, but a few do present fairly technical material (e.g., assessing causality of myocardial infarction and acute cardiovascular disease). Many papers in this section also provide useful and interesting international comparisons (e.g., one discusses U.K., U.S., and Israeli laws regarding stress; a second investigates discrimination regarding pregnancy, fertility, and reproductive issues in those three countries). …

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