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Physician Rights and Responsibilities

Free Choice

Free choice of physicians is the right of every individual. The individual may select and change at will the physicians who serve him/her, or he/she may choose a medical care plan such as that provided by a closed panel or group practice, or he/she may choose to obtain medical care by becoming a subscriber of a health maintenance or service organization. The freedom of the individual to select his/her preferred system of medical care and free competition among physicians and alternative systems of medical care are prerequisites of ethical practice and optimal medical care.

Although the concept of free choice assures that an individual can generally choose a physician, likewise a physician may decline to accept that individual as a patient. (JC 9.06-87; EC 2/95) (Reaffirmed A-17)

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Abbreviations for House of Delegates report origination:

EC – Executive Committee; BT – Board of Trustees; CPA – Council on Professional Affairs; JC – Judicial Council; CHS – Community and Health Services

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