Fiduciary Contracting: Limitations on Bargaining Between Patients and Health Care Providers


This Article begins by describing the thesis that patients and providers ought to be able to establish by contract the rules that govern their relationship. It then examines the assumptions that underlie this approach. According to these assumptions, patients need both freedom of choice and adequate information. Contract principles can ensure that the first condition is met. The patient's need for information, however, triggers the operation of fiduciary rules. The Article describes the limitations that these rules of fiduciary contracting impose, and argues that they are justified. It concludes by showing how fiduciary principles provide the proper basis for judicial decisionmaking in this area, and how they explain the otherwise conflicting results that the courts have reached


Health Care Contracts

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Document Type


Place of Original Publication

University of Pittsburgh Law Review

Publication Information

51 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 365 (1990)

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COinS Maxwell J. Mehlman Faculty Bio