"This Note will conduct an in-depth analysis of the legal status of individuals who, despite the fact that they are interacting with a physician in some medical context, fall into the nonpatient category. To provide the necessary background to understand the current controversy surrounding the patient-nonpatient distinction, Part II.A will survey the various contexts that courts have determined constitute a physician-patient relationship, as well as the contract-based rules that these courts employed in their analyses. In Part II.B, this Note will track the cases in which courts abandoned the traditional physician-patient requirement for medical malpractice lawsuits, focusing first on the decisions which employed a direct contact test and then on those that used a multifactor balancing test. An analysis of the shortcomings and benefits of the traditional rule and the two new approaches will take place in Part III. There, the Note argues that the traditional justifications for allowing the status of the parties' relationship to be the controlling factor are weaker in modern society and that an analysis of what a change in tradition might have on medical costs and productivity only superficially support adhering to the traditional rule. Finally, this Note will endorse the approach that balances multiple factors, including the status of the parties' relationship, because the test's flexibility leads to less arbitrary results, and it permits compensation of some plaintiffs' injuries without overly broadening a physician's potential liability for medical malpractice."
Blake, Patrick D., "Redefining Physicians' Duties: An Argument for Eliminating the Physician-Patient Relationship Requirement in Actions for Medical Malpractice" (2006). Notes and Comments from Law Reviews. Paper 1.