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Landmark Cases

Case Name: Gary L. TRUMAN, Jr.
v. Claude R. THOMAS, M.D.

Date, Location, Cite: 1980 CA
165 Cal. Rptr 308
California Supreme Court

Defendant was a General Practitioner who saw the patient from 1963-'69. In '69 an OB-GYN Dr. found Cancer of the Cervix. The pt. died in '70, age 30. Children sued for failure to ever do a PAP smear. Defendant admitted this was usual, but was not done - appealed on failure to instruct and liability since he should have done PAP - CA Supreme Court said Dr. should give enough data for Reasonable Pt to make choice; must know dangers for Rx AND for not having Rx; not required to do test; didn't said if you ignored Dr., put self at peril.
cf Canterbury v. Spence