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Patients with PassportsMedical Tourism, Law, and Ethics$
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I. Glenn Cohen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199975099

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199975099.001.0001

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Legal Liability

Legal Liability

(p.79) 3 Legal Liability
Patients with Passports

I. Glenn Cohen

Oxford University Press

Even if the quality of care of a foreign facility were truly excellent, medical error is inevitable in some proportion of cases. Patients receiving care abroad will not experience the same likelihood of success and extent of financial recovery should they bring suit as they would if they had been treated at home. Such recovery is, the objection goes, less likely and less extensive in medical-malpractice suits for care administered in the destination country rather than in the home country. The first part of this chapter explains why that is the case and examines whether it should worry us and what might be done, focusing on lawsuits against foreign providers and more briefly facilitators. The second part then shifts attention to legal liability risks that are faced by home country health care providers whose patients use medical tourism, focusing on referral liability, abandonment liability, and liability for follow-up care.

Keywords:   medical malpractice, referral liability, abandonment liability, lawsuits, follow-up care

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