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Supreme Court: Malpractice ruling has doctors concerned

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A malpractice ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court is causing angst in the state’s medical and legal communities.

The high court recently ruled a doctor can be sued for malpractice even if he or she is not directly treating a patient. The decision involves an Iron Range case in which a hospital doctor allegedly refused to admit a patient who was being treated by a nurse practitioner. The physician based his decision on a 10-minute telephone call.

The patient died several days later.

The Star Tribune reports the patient’s family sued in 2016, but both the district and appeals court dismissed the lawsuit because the doctor was not directly treating the patient. The Supreme Court, in a decision last month, said such a relationship was not necessary to sue.

Medical groups say the opinion could subject doctors to more lawsuits.

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Associated Press

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