When a physician doesn't finish the provider-patient relationship properly, it can amount come malpractice.

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Patient abandonment is a form of medical malpractice that occurs once a medical professional terminates the doctor-patient connection without reasonable notice or a reasonable excuse, and also fails to carry out the patient v an opportunity to find a default replacement treatment provider.

In this article, we"ll look in ~ the elements that commonly define patient abandonment, and also we"ll discover a few scenarios that might qualify as patient abandonment in the health treatment setting.

The aspects of patience Abandonment

Let"s start by stating that whether or no patient abandonment has arisen is a very fact-specific issue, and a doctor"s potential legal liability deserve to vary native state come state. Having actually said that, over there are details common elements amongst patient abandonment cases:

First, the doctor-patient relationship need to be established. This means that the doctor must have actually agreed come treat the patient, and treatment must be underway.Second, the abandonment must take location when the patience is tho in require of medical attention -- this is known as a "critical stage" the the treatment process.Third, the abandonment must have taken place so abruptly the the patience did no have sufficient time or sources to discover a perfect replacement medical professional to take over treatment.Finally, the patient must suffer an injury as a direct result of the patience abandonment.

Examples of patient Abandonment

There are numerous real-world instances in i beg your pardon a doctor might terminate a partnership with a patient there is no a reasonable excuse.

For example, if a medical professional intentionally refuses come treat a patience who has actually failed to salary his or her clinical bill, that is often taken into consideration unjustified. And if a medical professional is unavailable because that an unreasonable amount the time once a patient needs medical care -- and also so is the backup (or "on call") doctor -- that might amount to patience abandonment if the patient end up suffering harm as a result.

It should be detailed that patient abandonment can likewise occur between other kinds of health care providers and also the patient -- no just between the physician and also the patient. Because that example, if a nurse-patient relationship has been established, and also the exact same legal aspects we discussed above are present, then the patience may have a valid clinical malpractice claim based on patient abandonment.

Patient abandonment can also occur when:

the hospital has inadequate staffingthe clinical staff stops working to reach out to a patient who has missed crucial follow-up appointmentthe clinical staff stops working to interact an urgent question from the patient to the doctor, orthe medical staff schedules an meeting too far in the future, bring about preventable harm to the patient as their problem worsens.

When It"s Not patience Abandonment

Not every instance where a medical professional stops dealing with a patient leader to one actionable case for medical malpractice. Most don"t, in fact.

Valid reasons to finish a doctor-patient partnership include:

the doctor has actually insufficient skills to administer adequate therapy to the patientthere are insufficient supplies or sources to carry out adequate therapy to the patientethical or legal disputes arise during the therapy processthe patience violates the physician"s policiesthe patient has plenty of cancelled or to let go appointmentsthe patient refuses come comply v the physician"s recommendations, andthe patient demonstrates inappropriate behavior, such as making sexual advances or engaging in verbal abuse.

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If a valid reason exists, then the physician can take actions to end the partnership in an ideal manner, and attempt to avoid liability. That means, the physician should carry out the patient v written notice of the termination in addition to a valid reason for the decision. The physician should proceed to treat the patient because that a reasonable period of time to enable the patience to arrange for different care from an additional competent physician. The physician should likewise recommend one more qualified physician. Finally, as soon as the patient has actually secured another physician, and also has signed an authorization, the physician should transfer the patient"s medical records come the new physician in a reasonable and also timely manner.

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