Health Law and Ethics | Clinician's Corner

Medical and Legal Issues in the Cardiovascular Evaluation of Competitive Athletes

Timothy E. Paterick, MD, JD; Timothy J. Paterick; Gerald F. Fletcher, MD; Barry J. Maron, MD
JAMA. 2005;294(23):3011-3018. doi:10.1001/jama.294.23.3011.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Healthy-appearing competitive athletes may harbor unsuspected cardiovascular disease with the potential to cause sudden death. This fact raises issues of physician responsibility in preparticipation screening and eligibility/disqualification decisions. A number of medical-legal cases now represent a framework for screening and eligibility decision making in high school and college athletes. Physicians screening competitive athletes should strictly adhere to recommendations from the American Heart Association. Precedent exists for disqualifying athletes with heart disease from competition to prevent unnecessary exposure to risk of injury or death. By virtue of the court decision in Larkin v Archdiocese of Cincinnati, high school students with heart disease have no compelling right to participate in interscholastic sports without medical clearance. In Knapp v Northwestern University, an appellate court ruled that college athletes can be medically disqualified from sports and supported the use of national association medical guidelines by team physicians in formulating eligibility/disqualification decisions. This medical-legal analysis provides guidelines for physicians participating in medical evaluations of competitive athletes by clarifying the standard of care, potential pitfalls, and the evolving liability associated with this clinical practice.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





You need to register in order to view this quiz.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 29

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Topics
PubMed Articles