American Journal of Law & Medicine

Doctor-patient relationship: examining the parameters of a doctor's duty to the unborn.

Nold v. Binyon (1)--The Supreme Court of Kansas held that a physician who establishes a doctor-patient relationship with a pregnant woman, who intends to carry her fetus to term and deliver a healthy infant, also maintains a doctor-patient relationship with the fetus. (2) Furthermore, the court established that a pregnant woman is entitled to be informed of test results that reveal she has a communicable disease capable of transmission to her infant during labor and delivery. (3) Plaintiffs Joseph and Bonnie Nold brought a medical malpractice suit on behalf of their daughter, Audra Nold, against several defendant physicians and defendant Wesley Medical Center (Wesley) who treated Bonnie throughout her pregnancy and delivery. Although Bonnie tested positive for hepatitis B during the first trimester of her pregnancy, she was never informed of the test results by any of the six physicians who had treated her. Further improper execution of hospital procedures by the defendant medical center and admitting physician resulted in an incomplete medical chart. …

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