The medical profession has generally been held in high regards throughout the world, largely because of the humanistic and caring nature of the services they provide and their commitment to put the interest of their patients first and foremost. This commitment and the corresponding community expectation are founded on medical ethics and enforced within their licence to practise. Aspects of the English common law[i] also bind them to these obligations.
There is little dispute as to whom they owe their obligations to whilst they are on duty. When it comes to their obligations while they are off duty in situations of medical emergency, the licensing boards and the common law seem to have differing approaches.
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Australian publications: http://www.aussiepubs.com.au/uncategorized/richard-tjiong-on-trustee-misconduct
Richard Tjiong on NSW Medical Defence Union