27 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 347 (2020)
For centuries, tourists have visited lands near and far in search of
experiences unavailable in their home countries. From golfing the best
courses in the world, to yoga retreats in remote locations, many tourist
activities provide experiential opportunities along with health and
wellness benefits. Currently, an increasing number of individuals are
opting to cross international borders to receive medical treatments,
often at reduced costs. While many scholars use the term health
tourism to encompass all health and wellness travel purposes, this note
uses the term medical tourism to distinguish tourism for the specific
purpose of medical treatments or procedures. Medical tourism is
considered one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors and is creating
significant growth in economies across the globe.
Like other developing areas of study, initial studies have only
scratched the surface of medical tourism. Rather than analyzing these
trends from a different perspective, this note draws on patterns from
various nations to propose new methods of protecting patient rights,
namely the right to sue in the event of medical malpractice abroad.
Specifically, this note will propose the establishment of personal
jurisdiction over accredited international healthcare facilities by way of
an accrediting US organization. Part I will discuss the origins of medical
tourism, explain how and why medical tourism became a booming
industry, explore the intersection of medical tourism and medical
malpractice, and discuss general principles of jurisdiction. Part II will
analyze and compare policies from around the world-including the
United States, Brazil, South Korea, and Thailand-concerning medical
tourism, cosmetic surgery, and medical malpractice litigation. And
finally, Part III will analyze the benefits of and advocate for Joint
Commission International (JCI) accreditation, automatically
establishing personal jurisdiction over foreign health care providers and
facilities for litigants to bring suit in the United States; then provide a
secondary proposal of the JCI serving as an appeals board for medical
malpractice claims occurring at JCI-accredited healthcare providers.
"Passport to Plastics: Cosmetic Surgery Tourism, Medical Malpractice, and the Automatic Establishment of Personal Jurisdiction by Way of the Joint Commission International,"
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies: Vol. 27
, Article 7.
Available at: https://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijgls/vol27/iss2/7
Available for download on Sunday, August 01, 2021