The Jeffrey MacDonald Information Site is a compendium of information about the Jeffrey MacDonald case. MacDonald was convicted in 1979 of the murders of his pregnant wife and two small daughters. He is serving three life sentences for that brutal crime.

The Murders of Colette, Kimberley and Kristen MacDonald

The Jeffrey MacDonald Information Site

July 27, 1979: Dr. Severt H. Jacobson, Former Army Doctor


MR. BLACKBURN: Your Honor, we call next Dr. Severt Jacobson.

(Whereupon, DR. SEVERT H. JACOBSON was called as a witness, duly sworn, and testified as follows:)

D I R E C T E X A M I N A T I O N 1:45 a.m.

Q Please state your name, sir?
A Severt Harold Jacobson.
Q Dr. Jacobson, where do you currently reside?
A In Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Q What do you do there?
A I am a neurosurgeon.
Q How long have you been a neurosurgeon?
A I finished my training in 1974.
Q Where did you go to undergraduate school, sir?
A The University of North Dakota.
Q Where did you subsequently receive your medical training?
A University of Minnesota.
Q What degree did you get there?
A M.D. Degree.
Q When did you graduate?
A 1965.
Q Where did you intern after that?
A At St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota.
Q How long did that take?
A A year.
Q What did you do after that?
A I was drafted immediate to that.
Q After you were drafted, where did you go and what did you do?
A I went to Fort Sam, Texas, (sic), subsequently to Fort Bragg and Fort Benning.
Q How long were you at Fort Bragg?
A From 1966 until the latter part of 1970 -- September, I believe.
Q I believe you say that you completed your training in neurosurgery in 1974?
A That is correct.
Q While you were at Fort Bragg, what specialty, if any, did you have?
A I really didn't have a specialty per se. I was the Battalion Surgeon for a while and then a Flight Surgeon for about two years. Then, I did a first year pre-specialty residency.

MR. BLACKBURN: Excuse me just one moment, Your Honor.


Q Dr. Jacobson, directing your attention to the early morning of the 17th of February, 1970, did you have an occasion to be on duty at the hospital that day?
A Yes.
Q When did you first come on duty, sir?
A I believe, to the best of my recall at this time, we started duty -- it would be the morning of the 17th -- let's see, the morning of the 16th, we would go about 16 hours or so on a rotation.
Q What were you doing during that rotation period?
A Well, we were the surgical resident on call for things in the hospital and the emergency room.
Q Now, as a result of being on duty that particular day, did you have an occasion to see the Defendant Jeffrey MacDonald?
A Yes, I did.
Q When was that, sir?
A That was sometime around 4:00 o'clock on the 17th.
Q Where did you first see him?
A Emergency Room.
Q Where was the Defendant in the Emergency Room? Was he on a stretcher or a bed or what?
A He was on a stretcher. There was a room that we used to use for cardiac resuscitation or significant emergencies just off to the side of the usual Emergency Room area.
Q Now, when did you first learn that Jeffrey MacDonald was in the hospital or under what circumstances?
A Oh, I was called by Dr. Straub, I believe.
Q What did he say to you?
A He said, "We have a doctor down here whose family has been killed."
Q As a result of that call, what did you do?
A Went down to the Emergency Room.
Q Now, after you saw -- first observed the Defendant -- how was he dressed?
A Well, he was -- his upper body had no clothing on it. I recall that he had a pair of pants or a pair of pajama bottoms, and I keep recalling, and I have mentioned this before, that they seemed to be more like pants because the material in them was rather dense, and as I recall, nice material. I don't know why I recall that.
Q Now, after you first observed the Defendant, what if anything did you do?
A Well, I recall he was excited at that time. I examined him and kept trying to ask him questions and trying to keep him talking, because at the time I had the feeling that he was going to leave the area and find out what was going on with his family.
Q Just get up and leave the area?
A Just get up and leave.
Q You say he was excited at that time, is that correct?
A Yes, very excited.
Q In your opinion, sir, was he in any distress -- medical distress -- at that time?
A Well, he was in emotional distress, but physically I do not feel that he was in distress. He was certainly able to talk. He was sitting up. We would have to try to get him to lay (sic) down again. He was going over details about things back home. He was, I think, trying to answer in his own mind what had happened, trying to figure out what, you know, what has happened to me in this situation -- like he was having a great deal of difficulty at that time coping with the reality of the situation, understandably.
Q Dr. Jacobson, you say that now you are a neurosurgeon?
A Yes.
Q What is that practice, sir?
A Well, it is a surgical practice directed toward the diagnosis and treatment of neurologic disorders of a surgical nature -- brain, spine, peripheral nerves.
Q Do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself as to the neurological condition of the Defendant at that time?
A Very excited; perhaps delirious in the sense that some of the data that he was bringing out was -- for example, he remarked that he had checked the pulses on the children and I don't recall it specifically about his wife -- and he said there were no pulses. Another question he would ask, "When is the ambulance bringing them in" -- something to the effect that there was a contradiction there. They appeared as though they were pulseless, lifeless probably -- making an assumption. Yet, on the other hand, why aren't they bringing them in. That is the only part of it that seemed hysterical. The other made sense.
Q Did the Defendant appear to know where he was, and did he appear to be alert?
A Yes, he did.
Q Alert as to time and place?
A Yes.
Q How can you tell whether or not someone is neurologically intact, so to speak?
A Well, number one, by their level of consciousness. If they are sleepy, drowsy or you can't arouse them, obviously there is something wrong. If they are able to move all their extremities, if they are able to -- if their movements are symmetric, if their actions are purposeful, their thought processes are relatively logical -- one can tell an awful lot simply by that observation. You go from that point to doing a formal neurologic examination -- checking pupils, checking for areas of trauma, checking reflexes, checking for evidence of pressure in the head.
Q What did you check with respect to the Defendant in that regard?
A Well, to the best of my recall, I know that I checked his pupils and they were equal. I know that I checked his extraocular muscle movements. I'm rather sure that I checked his reflexes. I observed him moving on the stretcher and almost ready to leave. His thought patterns were organized, although some of them were tried because of the events. His thought processes were organized in the sense that he did mention something about, he saw some bubbling in his chest, or coming from the wound in his chest and right side. That, an observation of somebody who is pretty much with it.
Q Now, did you have an occasion, sir, to check his vital signs?
A Yes.
Q What were they?
A I believe his blood pressure was like 120 something -- 125, 120 -- well, something in the 120's over 80; and his pulse was about 88.
Q Were those acceptable?
A Those were very acceptable.

MR. BLACKBURN: Your Honor, excuse me for just a moment.

(Counsel confer.)

MR. BLACKBURN: Your Honor, at this time we would mark for identification and move into evidence Government Exhibit 973, which are drawings of male bodies.

THE COURT: Very well.

(Government Exhibit No. 973 was marked for identification and received in evidence.)

Q Dr. Jacobson, after you first observed Jeffrey MacDonald, what was the first part of his body that you examined?
A Most likely the head. My habit is that unless there's something that needs obvious attention at the time, is to start at the head and go down. It is something that I had gotten used to doing flight physicals day after day.
Q Can you describe to us, sir, how you checked his head?
A Well, first observation, then palpation. You usually palpate the scalp, feel for any depressions, swelling, look for lacerations. You can feel them.
Q How much of his scalp did you check?
A Well, again, the recall I would have to make is that I checked all of his scalp. Now, that is nine years ago, and I am hard put to say with a hundred percent absolution that that's so.
Q That would have been your normal practice?
A That would have been my normal practice, and that being my area of interest, I would feel that that is what I did.
Q What did your examination of Dr. MacDonald's head reveal, sir?
A He had a contused area of his left forehead, slightly raised, the skin abraded, but not particularly broken, no indentations in that area -- this was in the left forehead just off the mid-line.
Q Would you take the the grease pencil, sir, and I think you will probably have to hold on to that chart because it is sort of flimsy, and mark where you observed that. (Witness complies.)
Q Would you explain, sir, what you mean by the term "contused" that you have used.
A "Contused" means basically that there has been a blow to the area. The area remains intact as far as its general morphology, as far as its general form.
Q Explain what you mean by the term "abraded," if you would?
A That sort of skin response one would expect from a floor burn, from a falling on the sidewalk where the skin surface is rubbed off.
Q Besides that one contused area on his forehead, what else, if anything, did you observe with respect to the head area of Dr. MacDonald?
A I believe he had a little blood around his mouth.
Q Was there any injury around his mouth that you observed?
A No.
Q What other injuries or wounds or bumps to his head besides that one contused area did you observe, sir?
A That is the only area.
Q What was the next part of his body that you examined?
A Well, the head; that would include the throat, mouth, and things like that. Then probably the neck and chest.
Q Now, with respect to his left chest area, what, if anything, did you observe?
A Left chest area -- there were puncture wounds in the left pectoral area.
Q Would you take that grease pencil, sir, and mark what you observed?
A Again, this is the general area. He also had another cut on his arm along here which is rather in that area, I believe.
Q With respect to those what you have described as puncture areas, how many did you observe?
A Four.
Q Do you have an opinion, sir, what could have caused that?
A No; just a very sharp object -- something that did not have a lot of width or breadth.
Q With respect to the cut area on, I believe, the left arm, how would you classify that cut, sir?
A Superficial. It did not go to subcutaneous tissue.
Q Okay, with respect to the other part of his chest, what, if anything, did you observe?
A Well, he had a laceration type of wound on the right chest about the seventh intercostal space area.
Q Would you draw that on the diagram, sir?
A I would put that about right here.
Q How would you classify that wound, sir?
A That was a laceration type of injury. It was long -- longer. I would say three-quarters of an inch. It was wider at one end of it than at the other end of it. There was, in fact, some bubbling from that wound.
Q Do you have an opinion, sir, what could have caused that particular injury?
A Again, I would think that something with a sharper point on it -- more tapered, obviously narrow in breadth.
Q Now, with respect to the lower part of his front body, what, if anything, did you observe?
A He had a laceration on the left upper quadrant about an inch and a quarter long.
Q Would you draw that in, sir? (Witness complies.)
Q How would you classify that particular injury?
A Well, that was deeper than the one on the left arm. It was down to the rectus muscle. I did not probe it. I do not know the actual depth of it per se, but it was deeper than the one in the arm.
Q What medical treatment, if any, did you give to that particular wound?
A I cleaned it up.
Q Was it bleeding or non-bleeding?
A Not bleeding significantly -- just minimally.
Q With respect to his right arm, what, if anything, did you observe with respect to that?
A His right arm?
Q Yes, sir.
A I don't recall anything on his right arm. He had something on one of his hands, but I don't recall anything on the right arm.
Q You speak of something on his hands -- what was that?
A He had a cut between two of the fingers which he mentioned and he said, "Gee, I must have caught the knife there, or something there. My finger is cut." It was superficial again, like almost shaving off some of the skin.
Q Like a paper cut?
A My opinion would be that it would be a little more than a paper cut.
Q With respect to the area -- the area with the punctures -- would you describe that a little more specifically? I know you can't see it a little too well from here.
A Those punctures were in a line, and they were close together. They were like, say, two or three millimeters apart, almost like the tines of a fork would be spaced -- almost.
Q Besides those injuries which you have already described, what other injuries did you observe, if any, on the Defendant?
A That is all I can recall, and that is all I have recorded. I looked at my physical exam.
Q Now, how would you classify, sir, Dr. MacDonald's general condition after you observed him?
A Well, his general condition was good. His blood pressure was okay; his pulse was 88 which is probably normal for us but for him that is probably a little fast. He moved around well on the gurney. Good, I would have to say.
Q Now, I believe you testified at the Article 32 proceedings; is that correct?
A Yes; I did.
Q And I believe -- well, let me get the exact question -- page 603 of the Article 32 proceedings.

MR. BLACKBURN: Your Honor, at this point, we would offer this witness as of 1970 as an expert in the field of medical science.

THE COURT: Very well.

MR. SMITH: We do not object, Your Honor.

Q "Question: Would a person, and I will add another detail which might make it a little more palatable to the Prosecution, would a doctor who inflicted a pneumothorax of this nature on himself know what the final medical consequences of that wound would be at the time he inflicted it, or could he know? Answer: Not this type of pneumothorax; he couldn't." Do you recall that, sir?
A Yes.
Q Now, Dr. Jacobson, let me ask you another question, sir. Do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself, based on your experience in medical science, as to whether a doctor who inflicted a pneumothorax of this nature on himself could reasonably estimate or guess what the final medical consequences of that wound would be at the time he inflicted it?
A Statistically he could guess. It would be a statistical guess.
Q Would you explain your answer a little more clearly?
A There are a number of procedures that are done in medicine knowing that there can be side effects from doing that particular procedure -- any operative procedure. We take biopsies of the liver with a needle, we take biopsies of the lung with a needle. We know that in both those cases -- in fact, we take biopsies of the brain with a needle. We know that in those three cases, there is a chance of hemorrhage or secondary problem. We, however, also know that statistically the risk is relatively small compared to the possible yield. I don't know if one can honestly carry that over, but statistically, one can do -- figure -- that the potential for disaster is a reasonably low one.
Q What, sir, is a pneumothorax?
A That is air between the lung itself and the inner wall of the chest.
Q What is a hemothorax?
A That is blood in the same space.
Q Which of the two, in your opinion, sir, is the more serious?
A I don't really have an opinion on that.
Q After you examined Dr. MacDonald -- well, how long did you examine him in the Emergency Room?
A Well, I would say probably for eight minutes or so -- five to eight minutes.
Q Now, after that examination took place, what did you do next?
A I believe we took him to the x-ray suite.
Q Now, by "we," who do you mean?
A Dr. Straub was there. He was on call in the Emergency Room. He is a radiologist. We went down to the x-ray suite particularly pertinent to the business with his right chest -- the bubbling that we were concerned about in the thorax.
Q He was given x-rays; is that correct?
A Uh-huh.
Q What did the x-rays at first reveal?
A Well, I believe they revealed a small pneumothorax in the percentage area of 15 to 20 percent or something like that -- relative to that area. I believe we may have taken two x-rays at that time. I can't recall that specifically. I can't recall that.
Q Well, let me ask you this question. You say 15 to 20 percent pneumothorax?
A Yes.
Q Did there ever come a time when you changed your estimate as to what percentage of pneumothorax Dr. MacDonald suffered?
A By the following morning, this had evolved into about an estimated 40 percent. Now, that percentage is, again, personal opinion. Is it 40 percent of the total volume of the chest or 40 percent of the pneumothorax. Those are two different --
Q (Interposing) What, in your opinion, sir, what is the degree of seriousness between a 20 percent and a 40 percent pneumothorax?
A Well, for somebody like Dr. MacDonald, there probably is not an awful lot of difference physiologically. A gentleman of his relative good health, size, robustness, 40 percent is probably well-tolerated. The fact that it was getting larger was the reason for doing tube thoracostomy which was done later.
Q What is that?
A Well, that is placing a tube between the ribs in order to take out the air from between the lung and the chest wall.
Q After Dr. MacDonald was x-rayed, did you have an occasion to go with him, sir, up to his room?
A Yes.
Q During that trip from the x-ray area to his room, did you have an occasion to have any conversation with Dr. MacDonald?
A Yes. We talked about it. He and I had had a young troop from the Special Forces, I believe, in common in the sense that I had put a chest tube in him in a pneumothorax that he had sustained in a fall out of a second or third story window or something like that and Jeff was the surgeon for, I believe, that group. He had contacted me on behalf of his commander and personal concern about the young man also as to how he was doing. I believe, as I remember, he came over to the hospital when we had to put the chest tube in this young fellow. Chest tubes are not comfortable to get put in your chest. They are relatively uncomfortable when they are being placed. I think we talked about that -- him anticipating that perhaps that would come up possibly.
Q What medication, if any, do you give someone who is to have a chest tube inserted into his body?
A Would you repeat that question?
Q What medication or anesthesia or anything, if any at all, do you give to an individual who is to have a chest tube inserted into his body?
A Well, if they don't have an allergy to medications, we usually put some Xylocaine, which is local anesthetic that is used like a dentist would use. We usually give them a pre-medication or something like Demerol, Phenegran, or Vistaril which are a narcotic and a tranquilizer which seems to help with pain problems.
Q During the entire time that you examined Dr. MacDonald in the Emergency Room, what medical treatment, if any, did you give to the injuries which, he received?
A We washed up his wounds probably with Phisohex, and I believe that he had a Vaseline gauze over the suspect area, the puncture in the chest -- the one that had the bubbling.
Q How many of his wounds besides this area in the chest required suturing or anything of that kind?
A None of them. They were not in cosmetic areas, and they were not gaping, large wounds.

MR. BLACKBURN: Your Honor, may I have just one moment.


Q How many pneumothoraces, Dr. Jacobson, did Dr. MacDonald have, if you recall, sir?
A Well, he had one, but it was a persistent pneumothorax.
Q He did not have any on the other side of his chest?
A No, he did not.

MR. BLACKBURN: That would conclude our direct examination. The Defense may cross-examine.

C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N 2:20 p.m.

Q Dr. Jacobson, you testified, I believe at the Article 32 proceedings in 1970, didn't you?
A Yes, I did.
Q All the medical facts that you have provided the jury today were provided at that hearing by you; is that correct? That is, you said the same things there that you said today, basically?
A Well, not really.
Q In what way did you change your testimony for today?
A My opinion has changed a little bit about the questions that were pertinent to self-inflicting wounds.
Q All right, sir, you testified, I believe, about that subject in the Article 32?
A Yes, I did.
Q Now, I wonder if you would be kind enough, if the Government would permit us to do this, to mark on the exhibit -- may I approach the witness, Your Honor?


Q To mark on the exhibit which the Government has provided, Government Exhibit 973, the location of the liver, and perhaps it would be best to use the frontal position, or any one that you think would best illustrate the location of the liver?
A The liver comes right up against the diaphragm here, and the diaphragm would probably go up to this area, so the liver would be sitting in this relative area. I will shade it in here.

MR. SMITH: I wonder if the Government would permit us to mark those areas in red; would that be permissible?

MR. BLACKBURN: Certainly.

Q Dr. Jacobson, if you would, please, color in the area that would indicate the liver position.
A This would be the relative position.
Q All right, if you would, go ahead and color the whole area that would be the liver. (Witness complies.)
Q Now, while you are there -- that is very good, Dr. Jacobson -- while you are there, if you would be kind enough, also if the Government has no objections to marking the other injuries in red -- so if you would, please, mark the other injuries to the body in red so that we can see them better.

MR. BLACKBURN: We would stipulate that red is better able to be seen.

THE WITNESS: This one, at the liver, it necessarily will have to be the --

Q (Interposing) All right, if you don't mind. If you could put an arrow in so that we could see where the incision would be that you have previously described.
A There (indicating).
Q Would you also mark the one on the head, if you don't mind, please, Dr. Jacobson? You can just keep the marker up there, you might need it again. Thank you very much. You may return to the witness stand. Dr. Jacobson, you indicated that the Defendant had what you have described as a 40-percent pneumothorax. Would that mean that 40 percent of the Defendant's actual respiratory capacity would be incapacitated by the injury?
A No.
Q What does that mean?
A It means that the lung has collapsed about 40 percent of its total volume within the right chest.
Q Do you mean, then, that the lung on the right side has been 40 percent incapacitated?
A Basically, yes.
Q All right, Dr. Jacobson, what is a tension pneumothorax?
A A tension pneumothorax is a pneumothorax that there is an actual pressure built up between the lung and the chest wall, which can evolve to the point where it will actually shift the midline structures over. The pressure is so strong that it will shove the structures in the mediastinum, the heart, over toward the opposite side.
Q What causes a tension pneumothorax?
A Either a flat valve effect on the chest wall or a flat valve effect on the parietal plural wall.
Q Would you say, then, that a tension pneumothorax is a dangerous condition?
A Very dangerous.
Q Could cause death?
A Yes.
Q Is that the reason you would always watch a pneumothorax very carefully?
A Yes.
Q And you would watch any pneumothorax very carefully because of that, wouldn't you?
A Yes, you would.
Q Dr. Jacobson, it would also be true that that would be the reason why you would put a pneumothorax patient in intensive care, so that you could watch him closely?
A Yes.
Q Almost any pneumothorax, if not watched carefully, could develop into a tension pneumothorax, could it not?
A No.
Q What causes a pneumothorax to develop into a tension pneumothorax?
A The fact that there is a one-way valve for air either coming out of the lung or coming in to the chest.
Q And because the air can only come one way, the pneumothorax expands; is that correct?
A Yes.
Q Now Dr. MacDonald's pneumothorax expanded from a 20 percent to a 40 percent pneumothorax, did it not?
A Yes.
Q Was it at that point that you decided to insert the tubes?
A Dr. Gemma decided to insert the tubes.
Q Did you participate in that decision?
A I believe so, superficially.
Q What is the tube like? Describe the tube that you inserted.
A Well, it may be a rubber tube or it may be a plastic tube. It is about the size -- usually about the size of the tip of my small finger here.
Q How do you get it in?
A By making an incision in the chest wall between the ribs, putting a pair of forceps in or hemostatic clamps, spreading it and pushing the tube in.
Q How far does the tube go in?
A It is directed, hopefully, to the upper part of the chest. It does not always go where you want it.
Q How many inches would that be?
A Probably ten inches or so.
Q So this tube that you have described as about the size of your little finger would be inserted into the chest cavity ten inches?
A Yes.
Q Is a person placed under anesthesia for that?
A No.
Q Would it be local anesthesia?
A Local, plus some supplemental anesthesia.
Q Obviously, that would be uncomfortable. Have you had patients tell you it is uncomfortable?
A It is very uncomfortable, at least the ones I have seen.
Q You had to do that twice to Dr. MacDonald, didn't you?
A Dr. Gemma did.
Q Yes, sir. Did you use two different sizes of tubes on Dr. MacDonald?
A I believe so. I believe that the second tube was a right-angled rubber tube, a rather large one as I recall we used to use.
Q The second tube was required because the first tube simply did not do the job; is that correct?
A That is correct.

MR. SMITH: That is all the questions we have, Your Honor. Thank you, sir.

MR. BLACKBURN: Just two or three, sir.

R E D I R E C T E X A M I N A T I O N 2:29 p.m.

Q Under normal conditions, Dr. Jacobson, where is the heart located in the body?
A Toward the left side, midline and left side.
Q How about taking the red pen and draw where the heart is. (Witness complies.)
A It depends on stature of the patient, but this would be the general area.

THE COURT: It might be helpful if you use the red pencil for that too.

THE WITNESS: This is not all heart. This top part is the aorta.

Q Dr. Jacobson, on cross-examination I believe that counsel for the Defendant asked you -- I can't recall the precise question -- whether everything you said in 1970 was the way you felt now. You said that your opinion had changed on one thing; is that correct? I believe it was self-infliction.
A Yeah.
Q Would you explain now what you mean by that and how your opinion has changed?
A Well, at the time of the Article 32 I was asked, you know -- I was asked a hypothetical question and I responded to the best of my feeling at that time which was like, "Okay, what's your feeling right now, Doctor?"
Q What was your feeling at that time?
A My feeling at that time was that if one were to grab the handle of a knife and stab himself, he wouldn't be able to control the depth of how far you stab simply because you don't know how sharp the knife is, you don't know how tough your skin is, and sometimes you don't know how hard your muscles are working. Since then, I have had a chance to reflect simply because some of the procedures that we do -- biopsy procedures -- we can control the depth; and the way we control it, such as doing a spinal tap, is we set a little depth gauge ahead of time, and we go in that far and that is as far as we go. Reflecting on that, I thought that if one were to grab a knife carefully, one could by grabbing the handle and grabbing part of the blade, just go only up to your thumb and you would only go into as far as you wanted to go. Your thumb would stop you.

MR. BLACKBURN: No more questions.

MR. SMITH: Just a couple of questions, if we may, Your Honor. May I ask another question or two, Your Honor?

THE COURT: About that, yes.

MR. SMITH: Yes, sir.

R E C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N 2:32 p.m.

Q Dr. Jacobson, you are not suggesting -- are you -- that Dr. MacDonald intentionally inflicted any wounds that you have described on the chart?
A No.
Q As a matter of fact, you saw no evidence of that; did you?
A I don't know.
Q You don't know whether you did. You didn't see anything that would cause you to believe that; did you?



Q At the Article 32 proceeding, I believe you were asked certain other questions about this subject. Let me read the question and read you your answer and see if it refreshes your recollection, Dr. Jacobson. The question was this: "If you were going to inflict a pneumothorax on yourself, would you inflict it in the area of the seventh intercostal space or would you choose some other area?" Do you remember that question?
A Yes; I do.
Q I believe your answer at that time was: "I would choose some other area." Was that your answer? A (Witness nods affirmatively.)
Q I believe the next question was this: "And why would you do that?" And the answer was: "Well, as is already indicated, there are some vital structures in this area that could make the condition much more serious." Was that your answer?
A That is correct.

MR. SMITH: No more questions.

THE COURT: Anything else?


THE COURT: One question. Was any determination ever made as to the depth of this wound which, in your opinion, gave rise to the pneumothorax?

THE WITNESS: No, sir; one would not probe that because one would probably only make the pneumothorax worse.

THE COURT: That is all I wanted to know. Call your next witness.

(Witness excused.)



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