Pate v. Threlkel
Florida. Supreme Court
Southern Reporter, 2d Series 1995; 661: 278-282
The Florida Supreme Court held that a physician owes a duty of care to the patient's children to warn the patient of the genetically transferable nature of the condition for which the physician is treating the patient, provided a reasonably prudent physician would have given such a warning. The court considered two questions related to duty: whether the physician had a duty to warn the parent that her disease was genetically transferable, and to whom the duty to warn of this nature of her disease applies. The court concluded that the physician has a duty to warn third parties when the standard of care creates a duty obviously for the benefit of third parties and the physician knows of the existence of those third parties. The court emphasized, however, that in any circumstances where the physician has a duty to warn of a genetically transferable disease, warning the patient will satisfy the duty to warn.
Date of Decision: 20 July 1995
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