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Continuing Care Exception

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.105 provides the guidelines for actions brought against health care providers seeking damages due to negligence. Even though many jurisdictions toll the statute of limitations until the actual discovery of the negligent act, Missouri courts and legislature have been resistant to this concept, rather providing the narrow tolling exceptions found under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.105.Young v. Medrano, 713 S.W.2d 553, 554. One of these exceptions being the continuing care exception, which states the statute of limitations does not begin until treatment by the healthcare provider terminates.

In Weiss v. Rojanasathit, the court stated, “[a]bsent good cause to the contrary, where the doctor knows or should know that a condition exists that requires further medical attention to prevent injurious consequences, the doctor must render such attention or must see to it that some other competent person does so until termination of the physician-patient relationship.” Citing Bateman v. Rosenberg, 525 S.W.2d 753, 756 (Mo. App. 1975). Missouri has long held that a physician-patient relationship endures until it is ended by: (1) mutual consent of the parties, (2) reasonable notice and withdrawal by the physician, (3) patient dismissal of the physician, or (4) cessation of the necessity that gave rise to the relationship. Weiss v. Rojanasathit, 975 S.W.2d 113, 119-120 (Mo. banc 1998). See also, Reed v. Laughlin, 332 Mo. 424, 58 S.W.2d 440, 442 (Mo. 1933); Cazzell v. Schofield, 319 Mo. 1169, 8 S.W.2d 580, 587 (Mo. 1928). Montgomery v. South County Radiologists, Inc., 2000 Mo. App. LEXIS 1883, 12-13 (Mo. Ct. App. Dec. 19, 2000).

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