Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in North Carolina

Doctor Laws

I have a scenario about a doctor walking along the beach in Nc, where a person is hurt and the doctor decides not to help this person. I was trying to find laws that might base him to helping this person since he is a doctor and I believe he took that othe. Can you help me with something here?

Asked on 9/03/03, 5:48 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Kirby Law Offices of John M. Kirby

Re: Doctor Laws

I will defer to lawyers that specialize in this area, but as a general matter, I do not think the doctor would have a legal duty to render assistance. A true doctor-patient relationship was never created. As a general matter, unless the doctor (or other person) created the situation, or unless there is some "special relationship," the doctor (or other person) has no duty to render assistance. There may, of course, be a moral duty to render assistance, but I doubt there was a legal duty. It is worth noting as an aside that if he or she did offer assistance, that could expose him or her to liability for malpractice. I believe there is a "good Samaritan" statute that would protect persons rendering assistance, but I believe it excludes professionals. As a rough analogy, think of an automobile mechanic that drives by a stranded motorist -- does he have a legal duty to render assistance? I think not.

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Answered on 9/03/03, 9:17 pm

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