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BUL4602 Fall-2011 Lecture 4, Reading 8

BUL4602 Fall-2011 Lecture 4, Reading 8 - 46 Mich 160 9 N.W...

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46 Mich. 160, 9 N.W. 146, 41 Am.Rep. 154 Supreme Court of Michigan. DE MAY v. ROBERTS. Filed June 8, 1881. Where a physician takes an unprofessional unmarried man with him to attend a case of confinement, and no real necessity exists for the latter's assistance, both are liable in damages; and it makes no difference that the patient or husband supposed at the time that the intruder was a medical man and therefore submitted without objection to his presence. Damages may lie for an injury done when its full extent is discovered, though long after the act from which it springs. A physician took an unprofessional friend with him to attend a case of confinement when there was no emergency requiring the latter's presence. The physician told the patient's husband that he had brought a friend with him to help him carry his things and he was accordingly admitted. The patient on afterwards discovering the facts sued both in damages. Held, that the plaintiff and her husband had a right to presume that the outsider was a medical associate; that in obtaining admission without disclosing his true character, the defendants were guilty of deceit; that plaintiff had a right to testify that she had supposed he was a physician or medical student, and also to give evidence of whatever may have been said at the time tending to support such supposition. It was also admissible to ask a competent witness as to the custom among physicians in regard to calling assistance in these cases. A witness cannot be asked what he stated in an affidavit, but the affidavit itself must be produced. Error to Gratiot. Defendants bring error. John H. Kimball and Jas. K. Wright, for defendant in error. MARSTON, C.J. The declaration in this case in the first count sets forth that the plaintiff was at a time and place named a poor married woman, and being confined in child-bed and a stranger, employed in a professional capacity defendant De May who was a physician; that defendant visited the plaintiff as such, and against her desire and intending to deceive her wrongfully, etc., introduced and caused to be present at the house and lying-in room of the plaintiff and while she was in the pains of parturition the defendant Scattergood, who intruded upon the privacy of the plaintiff, indecently, wrongfully and unlawfully laid hands upon and assaulted her, the said Scattergood, which was well known to defendant De May, being a young unmarried man, a stranger to the plaintiff and utterly ignorant of the practice of medicine, while the plaintiff believed that he was an assistant physician, a competent and proper person to be present and to aid her in her extremity. The second and third counts while differing in form set forth a similar cause of action. The evidence on the part of the plaintiff tended to prove the allegations of the declaration. On the part of the defendants evidence was given tending to prove that Scattergood very reluctantly accompanied Dr. De May at the **147 urgent request of
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