assumption-of-risk doctrine

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assumption-of-risk doctrine2016-12-15T12:47:26+00:00

assumption-of-risk doctrine


Definition A legal doctrine that states that a person who knowingly exposes him/herself to hazards with potential for bodily harm cannot hold others liable if harm actually occurs.

Comment Under the doctrine, a person who consents to a medical procedure–or alternatively, decides to forego a physician-recommended therapy–with knowledge that injury is a foreseeable–albeit uncommon–result, waives the right to a future complaint that any foreseeable injury was caused by negligence, assuming medical treatment was performed with proper care, and res ipsa loquitur cannot be evoked.

The AORD may be invoked by a hospital defendant, when a hospital employee is injured in the normal performance of his duties, or when the recipient of a blood product becomes infected with HIV, if the blood was properly tested–and the donor was in the ‘window period’, the indications for transfusion were correct, and the recipient knew of the potential risk for infection.  

Synonym Volenti non fit injuria

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