Hurley v. Eddingfield

156 Ind. 416, 59 N.E. 1058 (1901)

 

RULE:

The act regulating the practice of medicine provides for a board of examiners, standards of qualification, examinations, licenses to those found qualified, and penalties for practicing without license. The act is a preventive, not a compulsive, measure. In obtaining the state's license and permission to practice medicine, the state does not require, and the licensee does not engage, that he will practice at all or on other terms than he may choose to accept.

FACTS:

The physician had been the decedent's family physician. When the decedent became dangerously ill, he sent for the physician. The decedent's messenger informed the physician of decedent's violent sickness, tendered him fees for his services, and stated to him that no other physician was procurable in time and that the decedent relied on him for attention. Without any reason the physician refused to render aid to the decedent. The decedent died. The wrongful act alleged against the physician was his refusal to enter into a contract of employment with the decedent. The trial court sustained the physician's demurrer to the complaint. The court affirmed. 

ISSUE:

Should the physician be sued for damages for his refusal to enter into a contract of employment with the decedent?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The act regulating the practice of medicine provides for a board of examiners, standards of qualification, examinations, licenses to those found qualified, and penalties for practicing without license. The act is a preventive, not a compulsive, measure. In obtaining the State's license (permission) to practice medicine, the State does not require, and the licensee does not engage, that he will practice at all or on other terms than he may choose to accept. 

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