Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)

Abstract

The Legal Delegation of Medical Responsibility: A Comparative Framework

Author(s): Naser Z Aburumman, Muhammad Sami Abdul Sadig

Medical science has evolved toward greater specialization, with expertise being increasingly concentrated on ever-more specific subjects. As medical professionals are often unable to handle all related tasks on their own, when it comes to diagnosis, treatment, and especially surgery, such responsibilities have been delegated to third parties. This paper explores the legal issues surrounding delegation, particularly as they pertain to contracts. When physicians are obligated to fulfil a contract as a health care provider and when are they not? What kinds of practices and procedures may be delegated and to whom? This paper addresses those questions in a comparative context that includes legislative action in France, Egypt, Jordan, the United States, and Canada. Finally, this paper proposes a new and broader conceptualization of delegation within the medical field that focuses less on specific treatments and more on motivations and goals. The paper can help raise awareness about the legal aspect of delegation among researchers, practitioners, and policy makers, in order to facilitate health care delivery without legal complications.