Plastic Surgery Overseas: How Much Should a Physician Risk in the Pursuit of Higher-Quality Continuity of Care?
AMA Journal of Ethics, April 2018
In this article I discuss medical tourism, whereby patients go overseas for plastic surgery treatment in order to save money. However, if malpractice occurs abroad, there are several barriers that make it difficult for patients to recover damages. I explain these legal barriers and then discuss the possible causes of action patients can have over their "domestic physician" (their personal physician who might have referred surgery abroad or who gives postoperative follow-up care) and how these causes of action can create avenues of legal recovery not otherwise available. The possible liability of the domestic physician in the context of surgical malpractice abroad creates an ethical tension in the pursuit of higher-quality continuity of care, as the more involved the physician becomes in the process, the more likely he or she will assume liability.
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