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March 30, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(13):1159-1162. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.82970480008014a

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In buying professional liability insurance the physician enters into a contract to pay a premium in exchange for which the insurance company agrees to assume, within fixed limits, the defense against claims and the risk of losses which may or may not occur. The insurance premium constitutes the consideration for which the insurance company accepts financial responsibility for claims incidental to the performance of medical services. In this way the physician eliminates a worrisome element of uncertainty in the practice of medicine that might otherwise interfere with his professional efficiency and possibly jeopardize his financial status. The cost of professional liability insurance is an item of overhead expense to be figured in determining the cost of rendering professional services in the same manner that insurance is an element of cost to the consumer in the purchase of all other services and commodities.

It is not feasible to carry insurance to

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