WHAT AM I CONSENTING TO DOCTOR?
Today there is more of a patient-centred focus to medical advice and decision making – gone are the days when what the doctor thought best was acceptable. Now the patient has a right to be involved and understand the options and risks of his or her treatment.
Anne Maguire, Head of Personal Injury explains that recent case law has clarified how a doctor should set out the advice and risks to patients who undergo treatment.
The starting point is that the patient has the right to be given:
Adequate and accurate advice as to the available forms of treatment so that the patient has choice.
Details of any material risk involved in any recommended treatment and any reasonable alternative.
The likely outcome of the treatment, the prognosis and the follow up care and treatment options.
So, what is a material risk?
The test is what a reasonable person in the patient’s position would consider as being significant to him or her. What is important is not the medical profession’s view of whether a risk is important, it is the patient’s.
For example, a mother not advised of the risks associated with abnormalities in a pregnancy was not offered a caesarean at an early stage and her baby suffered cord compression. The Court held that the mother should have been advised of research indicating risks from delayed labour and had she been told, she would have elected for caesarean before the harm occurred. Despite the fact that her obstetrician would have advised her to continue with the pregnancy, the Court accepted that she would have elected for the caesarean as she would have considered the risks of not doing so to be significant.
It is also important that when a Patient gives consent to treatment it is based on accurate advice. A consent form based on wrong advice cannot be relied upon. However, it is still the patients responsibility to prove that if they had been given the correct advice they would have chosen a different form of treatment.
WHAT AM I CONSENTING TO DOCTOR?
Today there is more of a patient-centred focus to medical advice and decision making – gone are the days when what the doctor thought best was acceptable. Now the patient has a right to be involved and understand the options and risks of his or her treatment. Anne Maguire, Head of Personal Injury explains that…
Dispute Resolution & Litigation
Beware litigants in person!
A recent Supreme Court decision has confirmed that those acting on their own behalf will not be treated leniently where there has been a failure to comply with the Court’s procedural rules. Ken Stangoe, Head of Dispute Resolution & Litigation explains further. The Supreme Court heard the case of Barton v Wright Hassall LLP in…
Construction & Development
Do Architects have a duty to consider and find out key constraints of the project such as its budget?
The case of Riva Properties v Foster  EWHC 2574 has generated a lot of publicity on the issue of whether an architect who had been engaged to design a hotel owed a duty of care to find out the developer’s budget and/or advise their client generally about the budget and whether the estimate cost…
FROM APRIL 2018, A NEW LEGAL STANDARD FOR MINIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY WILL APPLY TO RENTED COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS.
Darren Millis, Head of Commercial Property looks at this new legislation in more detail and how this will affect Landlords. What is the minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES)? The minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) was introduced in March 2015 by the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. The MEES Regulations originate…
An Introduction to Intellectual Property Rights – Trade Marks
A trade mark allows a company or business to protect a mark, which distinguishes its product or brand allowing it to be easily recognisable to its customers. Danielle Austin explains the key aspects of a trade mark. What is a trade mark? Under the Trade Marks Act 1994 a trade mark is any sign capable…