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Medical Abandonment Medical Malpractice

Once a doctor-patient relationship is established, a fundamental obligation arises wherein the physician is ethically and legally bound to furnish all requisite medical treatment to the patient, barring termination of the relationship by either party. This responsibility mandates that the physician continues to provide care unless the patient decides to terminate the relationship or the physician initiates termination, affording the patient reasonable notice to secure alternative medical assistance.

When a physician deliberately declines to prolong care or treatment for a patient without valid justification, they can potentially face legal repercussions, particularly under the doctrine of medical abandonment. This legal principle stipulates that healthcare providers have a duty of care to their patients and must not abruptly discontinue treatment without adequate justification or ensuring that alternative arrangements for their care have been made. In instances where a physician’s actions or omissions result in harm to the patient, they may be held liable for any ensuing injuries, subject to certain circumstances and legal standards of negligence or breach of duty. Thus, healthcare providers must adhere to established ethical guidelines and professional standards, ensuring continuity of care and safeguarding patient welfare throughout the doctor-patient relationship.

Medical Abandonment Liability Considerations

In demonstrating that a physician abandoned a patient, a patient must show that (1) the physician became unavailable to treat the patient at a time when the physician knew the patient was at a critical stage of treatment and (2) the physician either failed to provide sufficient notice to enable the patient to secure another physician or failed to arrange for a competent physician to care for the patient in his or her absence. Unfortunately, the failure to continue treatment can be just as harmful as providing negligent care and oftentimes results in serious injury or death.

Several factors must be considered in determining whether unwarranted medical abandonment has occurred:

  • Was the medical care unreasonably discontinued at a time when the physician knew the patient was at a critical stage of treatment?
  • Was the discontinuance of medical care against the patient’s will?
  • Did the physician provide sufficient notice to enable the patient to secure another physician and arrange for a competent physician to care for the patient?
  • Did foresight indicate that discontinuance of treatment would result in physical harm to the patient?
  • Did the patient suffer actual harm?

FAQs About Medical Abandonment

What is medical abandonment?
Medical abandonment negligence refers to a situation where a healthcare provider terminates medical care for a patient without providing adequate notice, failing to ensure the patient’s continuity of care or arrange for alternative medical assistance. This can occur when a physician intentionally refuses to continue treatment, fails to follow up on a patient’s condition, or abruptly ends the doctor-patient relationship without proper communication or justification.

How does medical abandonment occur?
Medical abandonment negligence can occur due to various factors, including but not limited to:

  • Personal conflicts between the healthcare provider and patient
  • Financial disputes, such as non-payment of medical bills
  • Inadequate communication or lack of follow-up by the healthcare provider
  • Discriminatory practices based on the patient’s race, gender, or other characteristics
  • Administrative issues within the healthcare facility leading to gaps in patient care

What are the consequences of medical abandonment?
The consequences of medical abandonment negligence can be profound and detrimental to the patient’s well-being. Patients may experience worsened medical conditions, delayed treatment of urgent health issues, psychological distress, and feelings of abandonment or betrayal. In severe cases, medical abandonment negligence can result in serious harm, complications or even death.

What legal recourse do patients have in cases of medical abandonment negligence?
Patients who have been victims of medical abandonment negligence may have legal recourse to seek justice and compensation for damages. This can include filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the healthcare provider or facility responsible for the abandonment. Compensation may cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the negligence. It is essential for patients to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to assess their legal options and pursue appropriate action.

Contact Burnside Law Firm To Discuss Your Claim

The legal team at Burnside Law Firm LLP has extensive experience advocating for individuals who have suffered injuries stemming from instances of medical abandonment. Our seasoned attorneys have a proven track record of successfully representing clients in navigating the complex legal terrain associated with medical malpractice claims arising from abandonment negligence. If you or a loved one has been adversely affected by medical abandonment and are considering filing a claim to seek justice and compensation for your injuries, we encourage you to reach out to one of our knowledgeable lawyers at Burnside Law Firm LLP.

By scheduling a complimentary consultation at our office in Augusta or Athens, you can gain invaluable insights into your legal rights and options, allowing our dedicated legal professionals to assess the merits of your case and provide personalized guidance tailored to your unique circumstances. Don’t hesitate to take the first step toward securing the restitution and closure you deserve—contact Burnside Law Firm LLP today to initiate the process of pursuing your rightful recourse.

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Phone: (706) 432-8320


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Athens, GA, 30601

Phone: (706) 227-4264

We have recovered tens of millions in settlements and verdicts

The attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP have over 30 years of collective experience handling personal injury claims. Over that time, we have helped hundreds of injured people recover the compensation they deserve and need in order to begin putting their lives back together. This list is just a sample of the recoveries we have obtained for some of our clients here and during our time at our former firm, Burnside Wall LLP. Obviously, success in obtaining significant judgments and settlements for other clients is no guarantee of success in your case. Each case must be evaluated and handled based on the individual merits of that particular case. To discuss the facts of your case and learn more about your legal rights, contact one of the personal injury attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP for a free initial consultation.

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Meet The Team

Thomas R. Burnside III Personal Injury Attorney

Thomas R Burnside III

Thomas R. Burnside III is a personal injury lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have suffered injury as a result of automobile collisions, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, work related accidents or other causes. With over 20 years of experience in personal injury law at both the trial and appellate court levels, Attorney Burnside has represented people with brain and head trauma...

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Garon Muller Personal Injury Attorney

Garon Muller

Garon Muller is a trial lawyer who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have been seriously injured or damaged through the negligence or recklessness of others, including automobile collisions, workplace injuries, premises injuries, or defective products. Before beginning his practice in the representation of injured individuals, Mr. Muller served the community as an Assistant District Attorney...

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Robert MacGregor

Robert MacGregor

Robert MacGregor is an experienced trial attorney licensed to practice law in Georgia and South Carolina. At the Burnside Law Firm, Robert devotes his practice to protecting the rights of individuals who have been injured because of someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness and represents those who have been injured in automobile collisions or tractor-trailer accidents; because of a slip and fall; and in other general negligence actions.

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Ashton Revollo

Ashton is a trial lawyer in Augusta, GA who focuses his law practice on the representation of individuals who have suffered serious injuries or damages due to the negligent or reckless conduct of others, including automobile wrecks, job-related accidents, unsafe premises, or defective
products. Before beginning his practice, Ashton obtained his J.D., at Emory University School of Law, where he gained valuable courtroom experience as an intern assisting the District Attorney for DeKalb
County. After his time at Emory, Ashton received experience as a trial attorney at a respected personal injury firm in Atlanta before moving to Augusta. Over the course of his career, Ashton has assisted deserving clients in recovering millions of dollars in injury cases throughout Georgia.

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In November 2017, I was in a car accident and I decided to seek out legal assistance. I chose to go with Burnside Law Firm, LLP because of their five star rating. My inital consultation was with attorney, Mr. Garon Muller. I knew immediately that I wanted Mr. Muller to take my case. His professionalism and expertise in personal injury made my decision easy. Mr. Muller maintained his professionalism throughout my case. He kept me updated on a regular basis via telephone or email. He was always available to me when I call. I did not have to wait 24 hours to get a call back from him. I would greatly recommend Mr. Muller and the Burnside Law Firm, LLP.

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Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm makes client satisfaction his priority. Mr. Muller made sure that I had a lucid understanding during every discussion. He never made a decision without my input and made me feel like we were partners. Garon Muller was very professional and push for the maximum dollar amount from the insurance company. Me and my family considered ourselves blessed to have been represented by Garon Muller with Burnside Law Firm. We highly recommend Garon Muller and Burnside Law Firm! Burnside Law Firm staff are exceptional and exceeded our expectations.

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    2919 Professional Pkwy

    Augusta, GA, 30907

    Phone: (706) 432-8320


    325 North Milledge Avenue

    Athens, GA, 30601

    Phone: (706) 227-4264