Hurley v. Eddingfield
- D was a licensed physician and held himself out as a general practitioner of medicine, including being family doctor for P's decedent.
- P's decedent became ill, sent for D via messenger with payment.
- D was told of sickness, that no other physician was procurable in time, and P's decedent relied on him for attention.
- D refused to render aid, and P's decedent died as a result of D's wrongful act.
- Complaint was dismissed (demurrer).
- Judgment affirmed for D.
- Whether or not people have a freedom of contract, i.e. is there a social (or other) obligation to enter into certain contracts?
- There is a freedom of contract and no obligation for a party to enter into a contract.
- Before the enactment of the law regulating the practice of medicine, physicians were bound to render professional service to every one who applied.
- The act that was passed is a preventive, not a compulsive, measure.
- Upon gaining a license to practice medicine, the physician is not required by the state to practice at all or on terms other than those he chooses to accept.