Case 98-17731

Cass. civ I, n°98-17731, 7 November 2000
Download Judgment: English French
Country: France
Region: Europe
Year: 2000
Court: Cour de cassation [Court of Cassation]
Health Topics: Health information, Health systems and financing, Informed consent
Human Rights: Right of access to information
Tags: Access to health care, Awareness, Patient choice

Two medical practitioners came to an agreement where the first practitioner would give the second practitioner half of his patients in return for payment of money and provision of equipment. One doctor defaulted under this agreement and sought to enforce it in the court. The Court of Appeals had held that the agreement was void.

The Court of Cassation held that the agreement between the doctors was void and unenforceable because it violated sections 1128 and 1134 of the Civil Code, which protects patient choice of practitioner. The patient’s right to choose their practitioner was violated because the agreement obliged one practitioner to provide half their patients to the other.

“Si la cession de la clientèle médicale, à l'occasion de la constitution ou de la cession d'un fonds libéral d'exercice de la profession, n'est pas illicite, c'est à la condition que soit sauvegardée la liberté de choix du patient. »