To determine to whom liability will attach when an act of medical negligence were to occur onboard
an international Common Carrier airflight ?
? The airline for not providing / creating adequate conditions for medical assistance /
? The medical practitioner, as a good Samaritan, for providing substandard care, albeit in
less than ideal surroundings;
? The medical insurer, based on an ethical duty to indemnify / cover its doctors?
The main focus of the study will therefore be to clarify whether either the airline itself or the doctor
in their personal capacity providing assistance, could be held liable, alternatively jointly liable, in the
event of a procedure being performed on?board a commercial carrier which procedure then does
not go according to plan. Any refusal by a medical practitioner to treat a passenger in distress, albeit
for a sound reason, would certainly pose an ethical dilemma to the practitioner on board.
In this critical analysis of medical negligence in the context of international law, specifically
pertaining to long?distance international airline flights, the focus shall fall on the liability of any
medically negligent act as well as the duty of care and such standard of care provided in accordance
with such duty.
It will further be to determine whether the passengers? Constitutional right to healthcare in terms of
section 27 of the Constitution ?trumps? all other rights, including the medical practitioners? right to
refusal to provide medical treatment?
Mini Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2017.