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Medical Malpractice: Informed Consent

Informed consent pertains to the right of a patient to receive the information necessary to make an informed decision with regard to medical treatment or therapy. In the case of Canterbury v. Spence, 464 F.2d 772, 787 (D.C. Cir.), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 1064 (1972), the court specified the following elements which should be disclosed by a physcian: “1) the ‘nature’ of the procedure, 2) the ‘risks’ and ‘hazards’ of the procedure, 3) the ‘alternatives’ to the procedure, and 4) the anticipated ‘benefits’ of the procedure.”  The so called ‘lay standard of disclosure’ was followed by Connecticut in the case of Logan v. Greenwich Hospital Assoc., 191 Conn. 282, 293 (1982).  Connecticut courts continue to apply this doctrine of informed consent. In “’Logan v. Greenwich Hospital Assn. … we adopted a lay standard and stated that under the doctrine of informed consent, a physician is obligated to provide the patient with that information which a reasonable patient would have found material for making a decision whether to embark [on] a contemplated course of therapy. . . . We repeatedly have set forth the four elements that must be addressed in the physician’s disclosure to the patient in order to obtain valid informed consent… (1) the nature of the procedure; (2) the risks and hazards of the procedure; (3) the alternatives to the procedure; and (4) the anticipated benefits of the procedure.’”Levesque v. Bristol Hosp., 286 Conn. 234, 253 (2008).

 


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