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Abstract

In this article, the author proposes that the traditional custom-based standard applicable in medical malpractice cases be replaced with a reasonable, prudent physician standard that will more adequately take into account the role of the physician in rationing care. Part I of this article focuses on the heightened tension between tort and contract in managed health care. Part II of this article examines managed care cost containment techniques and their possible impact on physician decision making. Part III focuses on the widely acknowledged shortcomings of the customary standard. Part IV provides an outline of the doctrinal regime for my proposed reasonable, prudent physician standard.