Canadians are suing their doctors for malpractice, at three times the rate they were 15 years ago, and during that period awards to injured patients have quadrupled in size. Since the middle 1970's when the first medical malpractice “crisis” occurred in the United States, Canadian clinical neuroscientists have felt increasingly threatened by the prospect of a lawsuit for negligence. Since medicine is intrinsically a risk taking business, adverse outcomes are inevitable. Nevertheless, accusations of negligence and carelessness set out in a Statement of Claim causes considerable stress for the defendant physician, who frequently reacts with self-doubt, depression and aggressive behaviour. A “tort” is defined as a wrongful act, and the 4 elements comprising the tort of medical malpractice are: a breech of standard care, the breech was the proximate cause of the injury, the injury produced measurable damage, and it was foreseeable that the injury would have been less injurious to the patient if the caregiver had conducted a different course. In order to put these issues into current perspective, this symposium was convened as part of the XXIV Canadian Congress of Neurological Sciences, held in Ottawa June 17, 1989.