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Public Duties

The practice of medicine encompasses specific duties to the public and society. These duties apply to all physicians, attending and consulting.

Every jurisdiction in the United States requires the reporting of certain infectious diseases and certain types of injury that may result from a criminal act. (See Chapter 20.) A radiologist who sees suspicious injuries on a child's X ray has the duty to report these findings to the child protection agency. The consultant's duty to report is independent of previous reports by the attending physician. The consultant should not be a party to any agreements by the attending physician not to comply with the reporting laws.


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