Scott v. Bradford
Supreme Court of OK - 1979
- P went to a D, a surgeon, because she had fibroid tumors on her uterus. P signed a routine consent form before the surgery.
- After the surgery, P suffered incontinence and had to have 3 surgeries to fix that problem.
- P sued D in negligence on the ground that D failed to inform her of the risks of the surgery and that she would not have had the surgery if she knew of the risks.
- The trial court instructed the jury about informed consent.
- Trial court found for D.
- OK Supreme Court affirmed, found for D.
- What is required for a P to bring a cause of action in medical malpractice based upon a theory of informed consent?
- A patient suing under the theory of informed consent must allege and prove…
- D failed to inform P adequately of a material risk before securing P's consent to the proposed treatment. (lack of consent)
- If P had been informed of the risks he would not have consented to the treatment. (causation)
- The adverse consequences that were not made known did in fact occur and P was injured as a result of submitting to the treatment. (injury)
- Some courts hold that doctors must disclose information which is in conformance with the prevailing medical practice in the community.
- Canterbury held that the standard measure for the duty to disclose is conduct which is reasonable under the circumstances.
- Thus, it cannot be judged by local customs.
- A physician has the duty to inform the patient of all the material risks associated with the treatment in question.
- A risk is material if it is likely to affect the patient's decision.
- The locality rule should be used in determining whether the information should be disclosed.
- Most states are doctor focused RP standard; minority are patient focused RP standard, some are even specific patient based RP standard (OK, CA).
- Doctor has defense if patient should have known risks, if patient would have had procedure anyway or if injury doesn't result.