Assumption of Risk: Who Is to Blame for Our Actions

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Assumption of Risk: Who is to Blame For Our Actions

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 previously designated destination. The person who agrees to buy a discount airline ticket, which warns to "fly at your own risk," is entitled to receive the minimum service of transportation provided by the airline. The individual traveler should assume no other benefits other than transportation. The airline company claims this act of transportation to be its goal of services rendered. Independent of difficulties which may arise in completing this goal, the airline may not alter the basic duty which it is contractually obligated to perform. The airline tacitly consented to perform this basic duty the moment they began transporting individuals for an accepted payment. Once an individual has boarded the airplane they render all control over their safety to the accepting airline which holds the minimum responsibility of returning the individual back to a state of safety once their duty is complete. The mere nature of airplane transportation forces the individual to render total control over themselves to the airline. This transfer of control holds the airline responsible for any action which may occur due to the obvious lack of responsibility in the hands of the individual. Once the plane has closed the cabin they withhold all control of an individual over themselves, and must grant the service promised. The individual may demand the right to existence and hold the company liable once they hold the power to dictate all aspects of the situation.

One problem which arises within the situation is that of something happening which the airline holds no control over. Any difficulties which arise due to the daily routine of the airplane fall under the responsibility of the airline. Even occurrences which are deemed unavoidable fall under the responsibility of the airline because they hold total responsibility of their clients once the cabin is closed. Due to the complete control the airline holds on the situation it may be assumed that the doctrine of "assumption of risk" applies solely to the airline. In creating a situation in which the individual must give up his/her right to...
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