Did you know that a doctor does not have to accept you as a patient? Just because you ask a doctor’s opinion, or go to his office, does not make you a patient. They have to accept you, either formally or by doing something, like giving advice or prescribing treatment.

You Cannot Demand a Doctor to Treat You When and Where You Wish.

If the doctor has office hours in the morning, they do not have to see you in the afternoon at your convenience. If the doctor tells you to go to a certain hospital, but you do not go, because you would rather be in a hospital of your choice, and something happens, the doctor is not responsible. You can suggest another hospital that you would prefer to be admitted to, but if the doctor does not comply, you can ask him to refer you to another doctor.

Abandonment is Reverse Reliance

When a doctor does not treat you when you expect him to, terminates your medical or dental care, or drops you as a patient, it is called reverse reliance. This can also occur while you still need postop care or when the doctor walks out without warning and refuses to give you another appointment.

Other Examples of Abandonment

Like the doctor patient relationship, there are other ways a doctor can abandon a patient, which might not occur to you. Suppose you are being treated by a doctor, who goes away for vacation and does not arrange for another doctor to care for his patients. Something goes wrong, and you cannot contact him. Is he liable? Yes. Doctors must make reasonable arrangements for the care of their patients when they are not available. They can do this by having another doctor on call, or referring their patients to a hospital ER, as long as an appropriate doctor is available.

This is a common cause of medical and dental malpractice, because doctors cannot have just any doctor take over their duties. For example, an ophthalmologist cannot turn over a complicated eye case to a family doctor. They must arrange for another qualified, eye specialist to cover for them. A lot of malpractice cases arise because a doctor may go away and does not leave anyone covering for them, or have their answering service refer patients to a hospital ER, which may not be adequately staffed. When that happens and something goes wrong, the doctor is liable, and the hospital may also be liable for accepting a patient that its ER was not equipped to treat. The doctor on duty in the ER must call in a qualified specialist, if one is available, or refer the patient to another hospital where the patient can receive appropriate care. The ER doctor is only justified in attempting treatment if there is not a qualified specialist available, and no other hospital is within reasonable distance, considering the patient’s condition.

Thousands of patients suffer due to medical and dental malpractice, and do not get the compensation they deserve. If you are a victim of malpractice, or your client is a victim of malpractice, contact JD.MD, Inc., today at 800-225-5363. We can provide you with an initial case evaluation or an expert’s opinion.