Case 01-03259

Cass civ I, n°01-03259, 6 May 2003
Download Judgment: English French
Country: France
Region: Europe
Year: 2005
Court: Cour de cassation [Court of Cassation]
Health Topics: Hospitals, Informed consent, Sexual and reproductive health
Tags: Clinics, Informed choice, Maternal health, Patient choice

A woman being treated by Polyclinic requested that two doctors from outside the clinic to come to treat her child. The polyclinic did not allow the two pediatric specialists to practice in the clinic.

The Court of Appeal held that the polyclinic had violated L. 1111-1 of the Public Health Code and L.162-2 of the Code of Social Security, which protects patient choice of medical practitioner.

The Court of Cassation held that the Court of Appeal was correct in holding Polyclinic had violated L. 1111-1 of the Public Health Code and L.162-2 of the Code of Social Security. The patient's right to free choice of physician is a fundamental principle of health legislation.

Article 11 of Decree of August 7, 1975 states that the doctor qualified in pediatrics is responsible for the medical examination of the newborn and the establishment of compulsory health certificate, except where the mother is using a different practitioner.  Accordingly, where a patient is using the services of certain pediatricians, a polyclinic may not deny that access to its premises to those pediatricians even if those pediatricians are not attached to the establishment.

« La cour d'appel a exactement retenu que le droit du malade au libre choix de son praticien est un principe fondamental de la législation sanitaire et que, aux termes de l'article 11 du décret du 7 août 1975, le médecin qualifié en pédiatrie, dont doit disposer tout établissement ou section d'accouchement, est chargé de l'examen médical du nouveau-né et de l'établissement du certificat de santé obligatoire "sauf recours de la femme à un autre praticien" ; qu'elle a ainsi, sans avoir à répondre à des conclusions dès lors inopérantes, légalement justifié sa décision. »

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