ChatGPT and Physicians’ Malpractice Risk

Professor Michelle Mello and Neel Guha, JD ’23

(Originally published by JAMA Health Forum on May 18, 2023)

ChatGPT has exploded into the national consciousness. The potential for large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT, Bard, and many others to support or replace humans in a range of areas is now clear—and medical decisions are no exception.1 This has sharpened a perennial medicolegal question: How can physicians incorporate promising new technologies into their practice without increasing liability risk?

The answer lawyers often give is that physicians should use LLMs to augment, not replace, their professional judgment.2 Physicians might be forgiven for finding such advice unhelpful. No competent physician would blindly follow model output. But what exactly does it mean to augment clinical judgment in a legally defensible fashion?

(Continue reading the opinion essay on JAMA Health Forum’s page here.)