Doctor demands payment for helping airline passenger

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 12 September 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:701
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    A doctor who answered an emergency call on a transatlantic flight will break new legal ground next month when he goes to court in a bid to force the airline to pay for his services.

    John Stevens, a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist, was returning with his family from a holiday in California in January 1997 when the call for a doctor went out over the American Airlines jet's public address system.

    Dr Stevens, who divides his time between Springfield Hospital in south London and Surrey Oaklands Hospital in Redhill, said that he was initially reluctant to respond to the call, which came just 20 minutes into the flight. “I sat on …

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