Legal and Ethical Issues in Telemedicine and Robotics

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 94, pp. 73-78, 2006

6 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2006  

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Abstract

Modern medical concerns with telemedicine and robotics practiced across national or other jurisdictional boundaries engage the historical, complex area of law called conflict of laws. An initial concern is whether a practitioner licenced only in jurisdiction A who treats a patient in jurisdiction B violates B's laws. Further concerns are whether a practitioner in A who violates a contract or treats a patient in B negligently incurs liability in B, A, or both, and, if treatment lawful in A is unlawful in B, whether the practitioner commits a crime. Judicial procedures are set by courts in which proceedings are initiated, but courts may decline jurisdiction due to inconvenience to parties. If courts accept jurisdiction, they may apply their own substantive legal rules, but may find that the rules of a conflicting jurisdiction should apply. Cross-border care should not change usual medical ethics, for instance on confidentiality, but may mitigate or aggravate migration of specialists.

Keywords: Telemedicine, Robotic surgery, Cross-border treatment, Legal liability across borders, Licensure across borders, Conflict of laws, Legal harmonization, Ethics across borders

JEL Classification: I18, K19

Suggested Citation

Dickens, Bernard and Cook, Rebecca J., Legal and Ethical Issues in Telemedicine and Robotics. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 94, pp. 73-78, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=944833

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

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