Medicolegal Issues in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2017 May;35(2):485-494. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2017.01.004.


There is increased participation in wilderness expeditions to remote and austere environments, which increases the likelihood of an accident and/or medical emergency and the professional liability risks for trip organizers. Trip organizers, outfitters, tour guides, and health care providers must understand the medicolegal liabilities involved in and the legal protection and immunity available when rendering care in austere and challenging settings to mitigate risks and prepare for the level of medical care that may be required. There is a great deal of variability in the legal protections provided by Good Samaritan laws and interpretations may differ among jurisdictions.

Keywords: Duty to rescue; Good Samaritan laws; Medical clearance; Medical malpractice; Professional liability; Waiver of liability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Emergencies
  • Emergency Medical Services / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Expeditions
  • Humans
  • Liability, Legal*
  • Malpractice / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Wilderness Medicine / legislation & jurisprudence*