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Unread September 28th, 2009, 04:33 PM
moviedoc moviedoc is offline
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Default Abuse of curbside consultation

An attorney asked me whether I would be willing to examine the client's spouse for a dissolution case. I agreed. The attorney planned to file a motion.

A few weeks later a prominent physician approached me in the doctor's lounge of the hospital where I belong to the staff and asked whether I do expert witness work in divorce cases. I said I do not do parenting evals, but occasionally opine on other matters, and described the question posed by the attorney as described above.

After a few more weeks the attorney calls again to tell me that the physician, who apparently treats the individual I was to have examined described our conversation to the parenting evaluator.

My question: Assuming the physician knew that I was asked to get involved in the case and was attempting to glean information that might be helpful to the patient's case is there an ethical or professional conduct problem with 1) stepping outside the usual role of a physician, and potentially interfering with the legal process, or 2) using deception in a setting where physicians should be able to speak freely, at least without identification of the patient, about cases?
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