Legal Advisor: Terminating the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Legal Advisor: Terminating the Doctor- Patient Relationship

A physician has both an ethical and legal obligation to provide services to his or her patients. If they do not end the relationship properly, the physician could be liable for a claim of patient abandonment. The American Medical Association (AMA), defines abandonment as "the termination of a professional relationship between physician and patient at an unreasonable time and without giving the patient the chance to find an equally qualified replacement."  This CME activity explores under what conditions a physician may terminate his or her relationship with a patient and actions that may reduce liability.

Learning Objectives

  • Cite situations that warrant termination of the doctor-patient relationship.
  • List specific information that should be communicated to the patient prior to termination.
  • Explore potential patient-termination scenarios which require additional steps to terminate the relationship properly.

Course Fees
MMS Member Physicians: $12
Nonmember Physicians: $22
Allied Health Professionals: $9.60

Format: Text

CME Credit: 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, risk management study

The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

A score of 70% or higher is required to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

System requirements:

Windows, XP, Vista, 7, 8
Mac OSX 10.6 higher
Most modern browsers including:
Firefox 18.0+
Chrome 26+
Safari 5+
Flash player  is required for some Online CME courses.

iOS devices beginning with OS version 5 or higher (includes, iPhone, ipad and iTouch devices)
Android devices including tablets and phones.
Windows RT and tablets on Windows 8 are also supported.


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