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:

  1. Notify the patient (or authorized decision maker) long enough in advance to permit the patient to secure another physician.
  2. Facilitate transfer of care when appropriate.
AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: I, VI

Code of Medical Ethics: Patient-Physician Relationships

Visit the Ethics main page to access additional Opinions, the Principles of Medical Ethics and more information about the Code of Medical Ethics.

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