Rethinking Liability and Licensing for Doctors in the Era of AI: Insights from Company Law
As the AI revolution in the healthcare sector begins, it is time for the law to identify regulatory issues that might require a rethink under the new era. Since technology in this sector has enormous potential to improve access to healthcare, States should ensure that regulations do not stymie the AI revolution in the healthcare sector. However, a number of legal and ethical issues need to be carefully considered in this regard. This paper will focus on two issues namely, (i) determination of liability; and (ii) licensing of medical professionals. With respect to determining liability, the paper argues that since we are still at a stage where AI systems have not completely replaced humans, the medical professional must be subject to the duty of care, even if he/she is assisted by the AI system. It draws from corporate law governing directors’ reliance on external experts to put forth an optimal regime for medical professionals using AI. With respect to licensing, the paper argues that it might be time for States to agree upon international standards for medical professionals to be able to deliver healthcare services since the use of AI will allow medical professionals to treat patients in other States and even countries. In the interim, however, it is important for institutions that provide healthcare services to patients located in other countries, to ensure that they contractually agree upon these issues.