Who's at risk and who's to blame for a variety of occurance?

Essay by TrailsUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 1997

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The doctrine of 'assumption of risk' clearly defines the responsibility of all voluntary actions taken on by individuals, independent of the inherent risk or danger involved with such actions. Are we only to assume responsibility for the positive outcomes of our actions, without also accepting the negative outcomes as well? Most individuals only claim responsibility in cases in which they are fully responsible for their actions. Living within a country which houses a large amount of private enterprise, we often find ourselves relying on outside help. In many occasions we, the individual seeking assistance, hold the power to choose which avenue of help will be taken. In these cases in which we have the choice, should we not also be held responsible for the outcomes of our decisions, especially in cases in which we have been pre-warned about any inherent risks or dangers? For example, When we take it upon ourselves to drive on a private road, smoke cigarettes, work for a mining company, or fly on a discount airline at our own volition, do we tacitly consent to take responsibility for any outcome these actions may hold? The 'assumption of risk' doctrine seems to ignore the fundamental obligation of entities to ensure their natural goals.

The distinguishing factor in deciding responsibility in faultless cases which call on the 'assumption of risk' doctrine is the control held by individuals after the situation has begun. In accordance, companies such as discount airlines and cigarette companies must take on the responsibility of completing their duties, while individuals who chose to work in a mine or drive on a private road must accept the responsibility of their actions to do so.

All airlines hold the responsibility of transporting their customers from a point of origin to a...