Medicine: The Whiplash Controversy

Nobody really knows when the term "whiplash injury" originated, and U.S. insurance companies, which each year pay out substantial damages to supposed whiplash victims, undoubtedly wish it never had. The sudden backward snap of the head to which whiplash is ascribed generally happens in rear-end automobile collisions; these annually result in thousands of cases of alleged neck injury. Yet standard medical dictionaries do not even mention whiplash, and in the District of Columbia's Medical Annals, Washington Surgeon Francis D. Threadgill insists that it is usually only a synonym for "malingering and self-delusion."...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!