American Journal of Law & Medicine

Standard of care: physicians' duty to inform patients -- Reed v. Bojarski.

The New Jersey Supreme Court held that a physician who performs a pre-employment screening has a non-delegable duty to disclose to the examinee any life threatening abnormality uncovered during the exam.(2) In 1991, Arnold Reed ("Reed"), a heavy equipment operator, was required to undergo a pre-employment physical. His employer contracted with Environmental Medicine Resources, Inc. ("EMR") to perform such examinations, who in turn subcontracted the exams to another group, Life Care Institute ("Life Care"). Dr. Bojarski, an employee of Life Care, performed the required examination, which included a chest X ray. Dr. Bojarski consulted with Dr. DePersia, a radiologist, regarding the X ray's results. Dr. DePersia observed a widened mediastinum, which may be an indicator of lymphoma, including Hodgkin's disease. Dr. DePersia informed Dr. Bojarski of the condition, and Dr. Bojarski made note of an "abnormal" X ray in his report to EMR. There was, however, no explicit reference to the widened mediastinum in the report. …

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