Statements of Opinion - AMA Manual of Style

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Statements of Opinion 

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

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PRINTED FROM AMA MANUAL OF STYLE ONLINE ( © American Medical Association, 2009. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the license agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in AMA Manual of Style Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy). date: 26 November 2015

Statements that contain pure opinion (ie, purely subjective judgment without assertion of fact) are not legally actionable because opinions cannot be proven true or false.(§5.08),, However, an opinion that includes, asserts, or implies facts that are false and defamatory could result in liability. As noted previously, publication of an expression of opinion about a public figure may be protected under the “fair comment” doctrine (see also , Public and Private Figures)., Fischer et al(§5.08) offer the following questions to help distinguish statements of fact from statements of opinion: ▪ Can the statement be proved true or false? ▪ Are the

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