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February 2, 1970

Law and the Surgical Team

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois Chicago

JAMA. 1970;211(5):833. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170050067031

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In the preface the authors state their hope that each member of the surgical team "in addition to having a deep respect for the practice of medicine, will acquire a great respect for the practice of law." This extremely well-written and authoritative book provides an exhaustive discussion of each member of the surgical team, from the hospital admission clerk to recovery room nurse—with stops along the way—and can be profitably read by every physician who either performs surgery himself, or recommends it for one of his patients.

Since the doctrine of charitable immunity has been abandoned, the hospital has become liable for the acts of its agents within the course and scope of their employment. Various jurisdictions have interpreted liability in different ways and this is thoroughly discussed by the authors. The surgeon, labeled the "captain of the ship" in the operating room, is held liable only for negligence