Brief Fact Summary. Dr. Weis (Defendant), when told that Daisy Childs (Plaintiff) was beginning labor, referred Plaintiff to her regular physician rather than treat her.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A physician who does not undertake to treat a patient cannot be liable for malpractice.
Issue. Can a physician who does not undertake to treat a patient be liable for malpractice?
Held. (Williams, J.)Â No.Â A physician who does not undertake to treat a patient cannot be liable for malpractice.Â The relationship between a doctor and patient depends on contract.Â A doctor is not to be held liable for refusing to respond to the call of a person even urgently in need of medical services.Â Without such an agreement, no liability can accrue.Â In this case, at no time did (Defendant) agree to treat Plaintiff, as he referred Plaintiff to her own doctor.Â While it is a fact that the nurse misconveyed Defendant’s suggestion, Defendant’s position is not affected.Â Affirmed.
The physician-patient relationship is contractual and wholly voluntary, created by agreement, express or implied.View Full Point of Law