In this assignment, you will write a paper using the information learned from your textbook and a legal case to discuss informed consent.
Choose a case dealing with a question of whether a patient was given proper informed consent before a medical procedure or a case dealing with whether the patient was given proper informed consent in relation to withdrawal of medical treatment. You will need to give the facts of your case, the decision (holding) of the court, and the reasoning of the court. You will also need to explain, in detail, the elements of informed consent and why the informed consent was correct or incorrect.
Finding case law is different than searching for other types of law. A legal professional would, most likely, use the legal search engines, Westlaw or Lexis, but these websites can be very expensive and very difficult to navigate for someone without specific training.
The easiest websites for a non-legal professional to use to search for case law are:
- Cornell Law law.cornell.edu
- FindLaw caselaw.findlaw.com
- Justia law.justia.com
You can also explore the WCU library and ask the librarians for assistance in finding case law.
This paper should be at least two pages, using proper APA format. Please be aware of how to cite case law in APA format; see this resource for assistance:
For assistance with APA formatting, click on the Student Resources tab and then click on the writing resources.
Submit your assignment by Sunday, 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time).
Points possible: 75
Your textbook may be used as a reference. The APA format for your text is as follows:
Reference: Pozgar, G. D. (2016). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Expert Solution Preview
Informed consent is a crucial component of the patient-physician relationship, as it ensures that patients are fully aware of the risks and benefits of medical treatments or procedures. In this assignment, students are required to analyze a legal case that deals with the issue of whether a patient was given proper informed consent before a medical procedure or withdrawal of medical treatment. This paper aims to provide a detailed explanation of the elements of informed consent and the correctness or incorrectness of the informed consent process in the chosen case.
The case chosen for this assignment is Canterbury v. Spence, 464 F.2d 772 (D.C. Cir. 1972). In this case, the plaintiff, David Canterbury, underwent a spinal operation to relieve the compression of his spinal cord. The surgery resulted in partial paralysis of Canterbury’s legs and bladder. The plaintiff alleged that the surgeon, Dr. Lyman Spence, did not provide him with sufficient information about the risks involved in the procedure, and as a result, failed to obtain his informed consent.
The court, in this case, held that informed consent is an essential aspect of medical treatment, and the physician has a duty to disclose all the essential risks and benefits of the proposed treatment to the patient. The court further noted that the disclosure must be sufficient to enable an ordinary person to make an informed decision.
The court outlined the elements of informed consent, which include disclosure of the nature of the procedure, its risks, benefits, and alternatives, including no treatment. The court also noted that the physician must provide the disclosure in a manner that the patient can understand and must answer any questions that the patient may have.
In this case, the court concluded that Dr. Spence had not obtained the plaintiff’s informed consent. The court found that the surgeon had not adequately disclosed the risks of the procedure, emphasizing only the benefits of the surgery. The court held that the plaintiff had a right to decide whether to undergo the surgery, and the physician must provide sufficient information to make such a decision.
In conclusion, Canterbury v. Spence is an essential case in the development of informed consent law. It underscores the importance of the physician’s duty to disclose all the essential risks and benefits of medical treatment or procedures to patients. The case emphasizes that the physician must provide the disclosure in a manner that the patient can understand and must answer any questions that the patient may have. The informed consent process must be correct and must be sufficient to enable an ordinary person to make an informed decision.