Meyer v. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Civ. A. No. 71-957-G.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtGARRITY
Citation330 F. Supp. 1328
PartiesERNST J. MEYER, Plaintiff, v. MASSACHUSETTS EYE AND EAR INFIRMARY, Defendant.
Decision Date24 August 1971
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 71-957-G.

330 F. Supp. 1328

ERNST J. MEYER, Plaintiff,
v.
MASSACHUSETTS EYE AND EAR INFIRMARY, Defendant.

Civ. A. No. 71-957-G.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts.

August 24, 1971.


330 F. Supp. 1329

Ernst J. Meyer, pro se.

David Hanrahan, Boston, Mass, for defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

GARRITY, District Judge.

Petitioner Meyer, a staff doctor at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary,

330 F. Supp. 1330
seeks damages and an injunction against the defendant Infirmary, alleging various violations of the United States Constitution and the anti-trust laws. Jurisdiction is predicated upon 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and other jurisdictional statutes. Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint, and at the hearing on the motion plaintiff submitted an amended complaint, which the court received without objection. It is on the amended complaint that this memorandum is based. The parties have filed memoranda of law and affidavits, most of the latter dealing with the internal organization of the hospital

I.

At the heart of plaintiff's grievance is the Infirmary's practice of dividing patients into two groups, private and clinic. A private patient selects his or her own physician who remains responsible for the patient through the postoperative period and who at all times owes to the patient the highest duties of disclosure and care. Plaintiff contends that with the advent of extensive Medicare and Medicaid benefits for the aged and indigent, any patient is financially able to receive private care.

In contrast to the quality personalized attention afforded private patients, plaintiff advances a bleaker description of the lot of clinic patients. These patients, who plaintiff contends are disproportionately black, Oriental and foreign-born, allegedly are not adequately informed of the availability of private care. Without their informed consent, they are classified as clinic patients, with the following alleged negative results: (1) clinic patients are made involuntary subjects for medical and surgical training of resident physicians; (2) clinic patients receive treatment inferior to that afforded private patients; (3) clinic patients are exposed to greater risks through surgical operations, even experimental operations, by residents-in-training to which they have not given their informed consent; and (4) clinic patients have no one physician whom they may hold accountable and, concomitantly, postoperative care is conducted through the clinic by physicians not necessarily familiar with the patient's history.

Plaintiff argues upon these asserted facts that clinic patients' rights to full disclosure and equal treatment have been violated, and he advances several theories supportive of his right to litigate on the patients' behalf. In addition, plaintiff alleges the violation of several rights personal to himself, including rights guaranteed him under Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, and the free speech clause of the first amendment. In return for staff privileges, plaintiff is obligated to devote two uncompensated half-days per week to the treatment of clinic patients, and he alleges that in relation to these duties he is prohibited (1) from advising these patients of their right to private treatment, either by him or by another physician; (2) from advising these patients in such a manner as to inform them of the aforementioned risks peculiar to clinic patient status; and (3) from otherwise meeting his own ethical obligations to these patients, including his duty to provide quality postoperative care and supervision. These obligations form the basis for plaintiff's antitrust and first amendment claims. Finally, plaintiff contends that the defendant Infirmary's receipt of federal funds under the Hill-Burton and other Acts is sufficient state involvement to sustain a...

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3 practice notes
  • Isaacs v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF TEMPLE UNIV., ETC., Civ. A. No. 73-1992.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • November 11, 1974
    ...Cir. 1966); Simkins v. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, 323 F.2d 959 (4th Cir. 1963); Meyer v. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 330 F. Supp. 1328 (D.Mass.1971); but see Ozlu v. Lock Haven Hospital, 369 F.Supp. 285 (M.D.Pa.1974). In other hospital cases, the coupling of Hill-Burton fundi......
  • Com. v. Hood
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • July 5, 1983
    ...action. See Hudgens v. NLRB, 424 U.S. 507, 521, 96 S.Ct. 1029, 1037, 47 L.Ed.2d 196 (1976); Meyer v. Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, 330 F.Supp. 1328, 1331 (D.Mass.1971); McQueen [389 Mass. 585] v. Druker, 317 F.Supp. 1122, 1127 (D.Mass.1970), aff'd, 438 F.2d 781 (1st Cir.1971). In Commo......
  • White v. Lobdell, No. 83-135
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • March 1, 1984
    ...so would be an abuse of discretion, Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83 S.Ct. 227, 230, 9 L.Ed.2d 222 (1962)." Holiday Publishing, 330 F.Supp. at 1328 (emphasis The Court in Holiday Publishing found that the defendants' reasons for seeking to deny joinder "swim upstream against the philos......
3 cases
  • Isaacs v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF TEMPLE UNIV., ETC., Civ. A. No. 73-1992.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • November 11, 1974
    ...Cir. 1966); Simkins v. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, 323 F.2d 959 (4th Cir. 1963); Meyer v. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 330 F. Supp. 1328 (D.Mass.1971); but see Ozlu v. Lock Haven Hospital, 369 F.Supp. 285 (M.D.Pa.1974). In other hospital cases, the coupling of Hill-Burton fundi......
  • Com. v. Hood
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • July 5, 1983
    ...action. See Hudgens v. NLRB, 424 U.S. 507, 521, 96 S.Ct. 1029, 1037, 47 L.Ed.2d 196 (1976); Meyer v. Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, 330 F.Supp. 1328, 1331 (D.Mass.1971); McQueen [389 Mass. 585] v. Druker, 317 F.Supp. 1122, 1127 (D.Mass.1970), aff'd, 438 F.2d 781 (1st Cir.1971). In Commo......
  • White v. Lobdell, No. 83-135
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • March 1, 1984
    ...so would be an abuse of discretion, Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83 S.Ct. 227, 230, 9 L.Ed.2d 222 (1962)." Holiday Publishing, 330 F.Supp. at 1328 (emphasis The Court in Holiday Publishing found that the defendants' reasons for seeking to deny joinder "swim upstream against the philos......

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