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Medical Jurisprudence

Meiring de Villiers

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Foreseeability Decoded, Meiring De Villiers Feb 2014

Foreseeability Decoded, Meiring De Villiers

Meiring de Villiers

The Article reviews the conceptual and doctrinal roles of the foreseeability doctrine in negligence law, and analyzes its application in cases where a new technology or unexplored scientific principle contributed to a plaintiff’s harm. It adopts the common law definition of foreseeability as a systematic relationship between a defendant’s wrongdoing and the plaintiff’s harm, and demonstrates translation of the concept into the language of science so that the common law meaning of the foreseeability doctrine is preserved. An analysis of the foreseeability of HIV/AIDS as a blood-borne risk illustrates application of the concept to contemporary issues in medical science.