Medical Samaritans: Is There A Duty To Treat?

Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 21 (3):393-413 (2001)
Abstract
This article argues that doctors and other health care professionals should be obliged to provide emergency treatment to those in immediate and nearby need regardless of the absence of any prior professional relationship between the parties. It concludes that the common law should accordingly recognize a specific duty of ‘medical rescue’. It examines some of the conventional objections to affirmative duties, finding them unconvincing in this particular context. It draws on two recent appellate decisions, one Australian and the other English, for support, as well as on more general arguments concerning moral sentiment, professional ethics, public expectation, and respect for human rights
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