Home Professional Patient Relationship

Professional Patient Relationship

A Look At Specific Promises of Cure Contracts

A Look At Specific Promises of Cure Contracts

Medical laws regarding doctor patient contracts have changed over the years, dating back to the nineteenth century when medical malpractice suits became regulated by local courts. Generally, courts look to the historic Hippocratic Oath when regulating medical laws with regard to ethics.  While seeking to define a clearer picture of medical laws and the legal duty of doctors to their patients, the issue of specific promises of cure is inevitably addressed by courts.  

Specific promises of cure refer to the contracts between doctors and patients for the legal duty of the doctor.  A specific promise of cure is when a doctor legally obligates himself or herself to cure a patient’s ailments by express or implied contract.

Generally, in modern medicine, it is considered unethical by the American Medical Association medical laws to make a specific promise of cure to a patient before or during treatment. As the field of medicine is growing and under constant revision from innovations and advances in medical methodology and technology, the idea of any form of guarantee between doctor and patient is considered unwise and thus unrealistic by the AMA.  

It is thus that doctors and patients may not enter into contracts which promise cure.  Such an agreement modifies the standard of care and legal duty of a medical professional from acting in a patient’s best interest to curing the patient’s ailments.In a contract which contains a specific promise of cure, a patient may technically sue a doctor for breach of contract if the doctor is unable to cure the specified ailment in the contract.  It’s important to note that the contract with promise of cure may not necessarily be a written agreement. 

 If a doctor makes the mistake or promising to cure a patient in conversation with that patient, then he or she is liable for breach of contract under certain medical laws should he or she fail to cure the patient’s condition. Breach of contract with specific promise of cure normally includes a required reimbursement of all fees incurred by the patient, as well as any pain and suffering experienced during the extended time in which the patient’s condition had not improved or resolved.

Facts About Liability of Physicians in Institutions

Facts About Liability of Physicians in Institutions

A
physician practicing in a medical institution such as a hospital or office
shares malpractice liability with the facility in which he or she practices.
Physicians in institutions are covered under their own private medical
malpractice insurance, and also answer to the board of trustees through the
hospital director or administrator.  The representatives and owners of the
hospital as a collective are also responsible for the physicians which work in
their institutions.

Institutions liability comes into affect when a patient treated in a facility
is neglected or harmed by a negligent act on behalf of the institution itself.
 This means that the act of harm must have been caused by a factor in the
facility other than the physician who was treating the patient.  If a
physician causes injury to a patient through negligence or intent, he or she is
solely responsible and assumes the cost under his or her medical malpractice
insurance.  However, in cases where direct fault cannot be attributed to
the physician-patient contact, the treating institution assumes liability,
covering the damages under its own liability insurance.  It’s important to
note that liability insurance for institutions is paid for directly by the
facility owner or board of trustees/shareholders.

Physicians in institutions operate under the principle of
shared liability with their facilities.  For example, the court in charge
must review the case in order to determine whether or not a 

The Professional Patient Overview

The Professional Patient Overview

Express & Implied Contracts from a Physician:

When a patient begins treatment under a health care professional, he or she forms a contract between him or herself and the medical professional. The contract formed therein is legally binding and is condition subsequent in nature – the health care professional will perform a service, resulting in payment from the patient for services rendered.  The terms of this contract may vary depending upon the agreement, and generally may be either express or implied.  Express contracts between the physician and patient are enumerated and specified by date, while implied contracts are looser in construction and often left up to the physician’s discretion.

Physicians in Institutions: 

A physician practicing in a medical institution such as a hospital or office shares malpractice liability with him or herself and the facility in which he or she practices. Physicians in institutions are covered under their own private medical malpractice insurance, and also answer to the board of trustees through the hospital director or administrator.  The representatives and owners of the hospital as a collective are also responsible for the physicians which work in their institutions.

Specific Promises of Cure: 

Medical laws regarding doctor patient contracts have changed over the years dating back to the nineteenth century when medical malpractice suits became regulated by local courts. Generally, courts look to the historic Hippocratic Oath when regulating medical laws with regard to ethics.  While seeking to define a clearer picture of medical laws and the legal duty of doctors to their patients, the issue of specific promises of cure is inevitably addressed by courts.  Specific promises of cure refer to the contracts between doctors and patients for the legal duty of the doctor.  A specific promise of cure is when a doctor legally obligates himself or herself to cure a patient’s ailments by express or implied contract.  

Exculpatory Clauses:

An exculpatory clause comes from the latin “culpa” which means fault or blame.  It is thus that an exculpatory clause is present in an agreement in order to absolve a party from blame.  In personal injury law, when an exculpatory clause is signed, the ability to sue for negligence or medical malpractice is limited.  There is no federal law which regulates exculpatory clauses in personal injury law – this is left up to the jurisdiction of the state appellate court.  The highest state courts regulate the validity of an exculpatory clause.  It is thus that an exculpatory clause is seen generally as a safety measure for medical institutions in terms of medical malpractice and liability.