Virtual Mentor. January 2005, Volume 7, Number 1.
Case 1.4: Terminating the Patient-Physician Relationship—Saying Goodbye to Mr. Jones
Options C and D—writing the patient a letter stating that there appears to be a difficulty in their relationship or discussing this difficulty directly with Mr. Jones—are both acceptable. D is the preferred option because it gives Dr. Stevens and Mr. Jones the chance to discuss the nature of the difficulty, leaving open the possibility for a resolution and a continuation of the relationship. Options A and B—immediate termination of the patient-physician relationship or rejecting the request for an appointment—should be avoided because immediate termination either through implication or direct notification violates the Code of Medical Ethics.
Preferable: Option D
Acceptable: Option C
Avoided: Options A and B
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