2021 Oct 9. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–.
Abandonment is considered a breach of duty and is defined as unilateral termination of the physician-patient relationship without providing adequate notice for the patient to obtain substitute medical care. The patient-physician relationship must have been established for abandonment to occur. This patient-physician relationship becomes established when a physician affirmatively acts in a patient’s care through the patient's diagnosis and/or treatment. This relationship is also established if the physician agrees to diagnose and/or treat the patient. A physician-patient relationship is often created when the “professional services of a physician are rendered to and accepted by another person for the purposes of medical or surgical treatment,” which was further established by the Cygan v. Kaleida Health court case in 2008.