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.
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Comment In: CMAJ. 2002 Feb 19;166(4):445-611873921