The legal duty of physicians and hospitals to provide emergency care

February 2002
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;2/19/2002, Vol. 166 Issue 4, p465
Academic Journal
Accessibility of hospital emergency services has been an issue of increasing concern and was recently brought into public focus in Ontario by the tragic death of Joshua Fleuelling, whose ambulance was redirected from the nearest hospital. As will be reviewed, the limited case law has identified a legal duty for physicians and hospitals to provide treatment to people in need of emergency care, a duty that should be considered when formulating hospital policies. The impact of this duty of care on the existing standard of medical practice will be considered.


Related Articles

  • A place of safety. Ludman, Andrew; Ludman, Sian // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);12/16/2006, Vol. 333 Issue 7581, p1260 

    The author reflects on the experience he and his wife, both of them medical professionals, had when they tried to help an elderly neighbor who was confused but not hurt or sick, without calling upon an ambulance. They sought other options because of their own frustration over elderly people...

  • Emergency department overcrowding: ambulance diversion and the legal duty to care. Upfold, Jane // CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;2/19/2002, Vol. 166 Issue 4, p445 

    Discusses the problem of hospital emergency room overcrowding. Death of Joshua Fleuelling due to critical care bypass; Reference to an article in this issue by Anne Walker which discusses the legal and ethical aspects of critical care bypass; Relationship between emergency care physicians and...

  • ER patients insured: study. DoBias, Matthew // Modern Healthcare;4/3/2006, Vol. 36 Issue 14, p8 

    The article reports on patients who use hospital emergency rooms (ER) in the U.S. based on a study released by the American College of Emergency Physicians in March 2006. About 84% of patients admitted in ER are insured and 81% have a primary source of care. In 2003, 14.1% of the population were...

  • Curbing unnecessary ED visits. Pinkowish, Mary Desmond // Patient Care;3/15/1995, Vol. 29 Issue 5, p110 

    Presents the reprint of `Prospective identification and triage of nonemergency patients out of an emergency department: A 5-year study,' by RW Derlet, D Kinser, L Ray, et al in `Ann Emerg Med 1995.'

  • Hospital ER visits hit 15-year high.  // Nation's Health;Sep93, Vol. 23 Issue 8, p4 

    Reports on the increase in hospital emergency room visits for the first quarter of 1993 which posted a 15-year high. Percentage increase; Percentage drop in the same period for 1992.

  • Brochure educates on emergency visits.  // AHA News;2/3/97, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p6 

    Features a brochure developed by Pennsylvania hospitals, health systems and emergency physicians in an effort to limit unnecessary emergency-department visits. Availability.

  • Majority of emergency room visits are for non-emergencies.  // Nation's Health;Apr94, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p9 

    Reports on Americans' use of local hospital emergency rooms for primary care. Persons with the highest rate of emergency room visits overall; Racial factor in emergency room visits; Most frequent source of payment for emergency care.

  • Studies show problems of diverting ER patients. Greene, Jay // Modern Healthcare;3/11/96, Vol. 26 Issue 11, p6 

    Reports on the findings of a study which indicates potential problems with the movement to divert nonemergency patients from hospital emergency departments, published in the March 7, 1996 issue of the `New England Journal of Medicine.' Difficulties with monitoring patients needing emergency and...

  • Emergency stats. Voelker, Rebecca // JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association;2/28/96, Vol. 275 Issue 8, p584 

    Considers how more than 90 million Americans visited an emergency department in 1992, according to a survey from the National Center for Health Statistics. Common reasons that patients sought care; Most frequent diagnosis made in emergency departments.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics