Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sermchief v. Gonzales case brief

Sermchief v. Gonzales case brief summary
660 S.W.2d 683 (1983)

Appellants, nurses and physicians, sought review of a decision of the Circuit Court of St. Louis County (Missouri), which granted judgment in favor of respondents, members and officer of the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (Board), in the nurses and physicians' petition for a declaratory judgment and injunction to determine whether the nurses' conduct was authorized under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 335.016.8 (1978).


The Board alleged that the nurses were guilty of unauthorized practice of medicine, pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 334.010 (1978), and that the physicians were guilty of aiding and abetting such unauthorized practice. The nurses, employed by a health agency, were performing duties related to family planning, obstetrics, and gynecology, under standing orders and protocols approved by the physicians, also employees of the agency. The nurses and physicians sought to enjoin the Board from enforcing § 334.010 against them and to find that they were performing duties authorized under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 335.016.8 (1978).


  • The court held: 
  • 1) by § 335.016.8, the legislature expanded the definition of professional nurses and eliminated the need for direct supervision, so long as responsibilities were consistent with specialized education and skill; 
  • 2) the nurses' actions fell within the legislative standard and were performed pursuant to clearly established protocols; 
  • 3) there was nothing in the statute to restrict the nurses' continued use of such practices; and 
  • 4) because the nurses' actions were authorized by § 335.016.8, the actions did not constitute the unauthorized practice of medicine.

The court reversed and remanded with instructions for the trial court to enter judgment in favor of the nurses and physicians.

Suggested Study Aids and Books

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...