Ethics

Terminating a Patient-Physician Relationship

Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 1.1.5

Physicians’ fiduciary responsibility to patients entails an obligation to support continuity of care for their patients. At the beginning of patient-physician relationship, the physician should alert the patient to any foreseeable impediments to continuity of care.

When considering withdrawing from a case, physicians must:

(a) Notify the patient (or authorized decision maker) long enough in advance to permit the patient to secure another physician.

(b) Facilitate transfer of care when appropriate.

AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: I, VI

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Code of Medical Ethics: Patient-Physician Relationships