Discuss a situation (excluding the start of the counselling session where you get informed consent for the therapy you are about to deliver), where you will need informed consent from your client in the counselling relationship. In 200 words:

Our resources this week reinforce the importance of informed consent in all professions. They explain what is informed consent, and give examples of situations where informed consent is needed or situations where it may be waived.

For our task this week, can you read the resources available on the portal on this topic. Then:

  1. Discuss a situation (excluding the start of the counselling session where you get informed consent for the therapy you are about to deliver), where you will need informed consent from your client in the counselling relationship. In 200 words:
  2. Discuss a situation where you can forego informed consent in the counselling relationship.

Attachments:he doctrine of informed consent is a legal concept that applies to all physicians in every field
of medicine. This doctrine is premised on the
notion that “[e]very human being of adult
years and sound mind has a right to determine what
shall be done with his own body . . .”1 The principle of
bodily self-determination, even in emergency care situations, permeates through all cases involving informed
consent and may only be set aside by legally recognized
exceptions. These exceptions are included in both
statutory and case law (ie, legislature-created and
judge-created law, respectively). This article explains
the informed consent doctrine and reviews the important legally recognized exceptions in the context of
emergency care.
For a patient to be considered legally informed, the
doctrine of informed consent requires a patient to have
reasonable knowledge of the procedure to be performed
as well as some understanding of the nature of the risks
involved in the procedure.2 To provide this level of knowledge and understanding, a physician generally has the
duty to disclose to the patient the following information:3
• Diagnosis, including an understanding of any
steps taken to determine the diagnosis
• Nature of the proposed treatment, including
the potential risks of the treatment and the
probability of success
• Medically recognized alternative measures relating to diagnosis or treatment, including measures that may be considered less desirable by
the physician
• Consequences of the patient’s decision to
decline or refuse treatment
Depending on unique clinical circumstances, some
jurisdictions may impose greater or lesser duties on the
physician than the requirements stated here.3,4
Limitations to the Doctrine of Informed Consent
Limitations to the doctrine of informed consent do
exist, and physicians do not have a duty to disclose
every remote risk associated with a medical procedure.
For example, the physician does not need to disclose
the chance that a spinal anesthetic may be contaminated and may therefore cause neurologic damage if the
chance of contamination is no longer considered a
current risk. Nor do physicians have a duty to disclose
risks that are considered common knowledge or already obvious to the patient, such as the risk of infection following a surgical operation.4–12 However, physicians should note that “[r]isks of drug side-effects . . .
are singled out for disclosure by some courts, even if
the risk of side effect is small.”2,13 Fundamentally, the
law only requires disclosure of risks that are defined
as material, as judged by the seriousness or chance of
occurrence.4,5,7–12 In the case of McKinney v Nash, the
court defined material information in the following
Material information is that which the physician
knows or should know would be regarded as significant by a reasonable person in the patient’s
position when deciding to accept or reject the
recommended medical procedure. To be material, a fact must also be one which is not commonly appreciated. If the physician knows or
should know of a patient’s unique concerns or
lack of familiarity with medical procedures, this
may expand the scope of required disclosure.11,12
One of the most broad and generally accepted exceptions to the informed consent rule is that a physician is
Mr. Hartman is Contract Specialist, Southern California Permanente
Medical Group, Pasadena, CA. Dr. Liang is Assistant Professor of Law,
Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, CA, and a member of the
Hospital Physician Editorial Board.
Hospital Physician March 1999 53
Exceptions to Informed Consent
in Emergency Medicine
Kurt M. Hartman, JD
Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD
Perspectives in Legal Medicine and Health Law
not under a duty of disclosure in cases in which it is reasonably believed that disclosure to the patient would
pose a serious threat to the patient’s well being.4,14 In the
seminal case of Canterbury v Spence, the court articulated
this exception by stating:
It is recognized that patients occasionally become so ill or emotionally distraught on disclosure as to foreclose a rational decision, or complicate or hinder the treatment, or perhaps
even pose psychological damage to the patient.
Where that is so, the cases have generally held
that the physician is armed with the privilege to
keep the information from the patient, and we
think it clear that portents of that type may justify the physician in action he deems medically
warranted. The critical inquiry is whether the
physician responded to a sound medical judgment that communication of the risk information would present a threat to the patient’s wellbeing.14
This general rule is also applicable to emergency care
For emergency medicine specifically, the law acknowledges that mechanistically imposing the duty of
informed consent may become detrimental to the
patient’s health and potentially to the patient’s life.
Therefore, the largest number of recognized exceptions to the doctrine of informed consent comes from
the challenges posed in emergency medical circumstances. The general rule is that, in certain emergency
medical situations, patient consent is presumed to exist
for medical treatment that addresses the emergency.
For example, a typical state statute indicates that:
A [physician] shall not be liable for civil damages for injury or death caused in an emergency
situation occurring in the [physician’s] office or
in a hospital on account of a failure to inform a
patient of the possible consequences of a medical procedure . . . 15,16
The following three common clinical scenarios involve informed consent considerations during emergency care. These scenarios address the unconscious
patient, the conscious patient with questionable competency, and the minor patient.
The Unconscious Patient
An almost universal exception to the doctrine of
informed consent applies when the patient is unconscious and the probability of harm because of failure to
treat is great and surpasses any threatened harm from
the treatment itself.14 The premise of this exception is
that, when the patient is unconscious and in immediate need of emergency medical attention, the duties of
disclosure imposed by the doctrine of informed consent are excused because irreparable harm and even
death may result from the physician’s hesitation to
provide treatment.
Barnett v Bacharach. The case of Barnett v Bacharach
illustrates this exception. In this case, the court held
that, in a medical emergency in which the patient lies
unconscious on the operating table, the surgeon may
lawfully carry out the duties of a physician in the best
interest of the patient even if these duties entail the
performance of a procedure that was not originally
contemplated.17,18 In Barnett v Bacharach, a patient who
complained of abdominal pains was diagnosed with a
tubal pregnancy. The patient consented to undergo
surgery only for the removal of the ectopic pregnancy.
On incision, however, the surgeon discovered that the
patient did not have an ectopic pregnancy but the
symptoms were instead from acute appendicitis. The
surgeon determined that, in the best interest of the patient, the appendix should be removed, and an appendectomy was performed. Following the patient’s uneventful recovery, the patient refused to pay for the
surgical services provided because informed consent
was not first obtained and thus the procedure was unauthorized. At trial, the court found that the surgeon
acted properly because of the seriousness of the patient’s condition. The court stated:
What was the surgeon to do? Should he have
left her on the operating table, her abdomen
exposed, and gone in search of her husband to
obtain express authority to remove the appendix? Should he have closed the incision on the
inflamed appendix and subjected the patient,
pregnant as she was, to the danger of a general
spread of the poison in her system, or to the
alternative danger and shock of a second, independent operation to remove the appendix? Or
should he have done what his professional
judgment dictated and proceed to remove the
offending organ, regarded it as a mere appendage serving no useful physiological function and causing only trouble, suffering, and
ofttimes death?17
The court understood that to deny the existence of an
emergency situation and insist on traditional informed
consent would “make every surgeon litigation-conscious
instead of duty-conscious as he stands, scalpel in hand,
over his unconscious patient.”17
It is essential to note that for the unconscious-patient
exception to apply, the relevant emergency situation
54 Hospital Physician March 1999
Hartman & Liang : Informed Consent : pp. 53–59
must require immediate medical attention with insufficient time to fully inform the patient or seek consent
from another authorized person.
Tabor v Scobee. In a similar case, Tabor v Scobee, the
court found that a violation of informed consent had
occurred. During the course of an authorized appendectomy on a female patient, the surgeon became
aware of the patient’s infected fallopian tubes and
decided to remove the tubes at that point in the best
interest of the patient.19 The court held that the surgical procedure did not fall within the exception to
informed consent in an emergency situation. Despite
the surgeon’s determination that a long-term delay (ie,
6 months) in the removal of the patient’s fallopian
tubes could result in serious harm or death, the patient’s
medical condition did not constitute an emergency
because the patient would have had time to make an informed decision as to when she wished the procedure to
be performed.
Blood transfusions. Medical emergencies that
require blood transfusions frequently pose greater
complications for physicians attempting to treat unconscious patients. This scenario is particularly difficult in
cases in which the unconscious patient’s family members indicate that the patient is opposed to blood transfusions for religious reasons and that the family will not
provide the necessary consent. To determine if the
transfusion should be performed in these cases, the
majority of courts have assessed the clinical circumstances using the standard of the compelling state
interest.20–22 Under this standard, the transfusion is
ordered if it is clear that the patient is incompetent to
make sound medical decisions at a certain moment in
time and if the patient would likely die without the
blood transfusion.20 –22 The policy rationale for this
abrogation of informed consent lies in the compelling
state interest in the preservation of life, which outweighs the patient’s religious tenets as expressed by his
or her family members.
From a procedural perspective, a physician faced
with an unconscious patient and family members who
refuse to consent to a necessary blood transfusion
should only be concerned with following the hospital’s
internal protocol for contacting legal counsel. Generally, the hospital’s legal counsel petitions the court or
notifies the office of the State Attorney to seek a court
order to transfuse the patient. In some cases where
time permits, legal counsel for the hospital may appear
ex parte (ie, in a judicial proceeding with only one
party of interest present) before a judge and receive a
written order at that time.23,24 In other cases, such as an
acute emergency care setting, the court may hold an
emergency hearing at the hospital within hours of the
provider’s request for judicial intervention. After hearing testimony from physicians and family members, the
judge may sign a court order granting permission to give
the necessary blood transfusion(s) on the premises.25,26
Courts generally favor previous judicial permission
to act in emergency circumstances. However, some
courts have held the position that, if a life-saving blood
transfusion is needed in an acute setting and the hospital is faced with an unconscious patient and a nonconsenting family, the hospital should err on the side
of saving the patient’s life and simply perform the necessary procedure.20 As one court has stated:
When the hospital and staff are thus involuntary
hosts and their interests are pitted against the
belief of the patient, we think it reasonable to
resolve the problem by permitting the hospital
and its staff to pursue their functions according
to professional standards. The solution sides
with life, the conservation of which is, we think,
a matter of State interest. A prior application to
a court is appropriate if time permits it, although in the nature of the emergency the only
question that can be explored satisfactorily is
whether death will probably ensue if medical
procedures are not followed.20
Some courts require a more elaborate set of procedures before medical intervention can occur. One
Florida court has stated:
A health care provider must comply with the
wishes of a patient to refuse medical treatment
unless ordered to do otherwise by a court of
competent jurisdiction. A health care provider
cannot act on behalf of the state to assert interests in these circumstances.27
The implication of this statement is that a health care
provider in the state of Florida must first provide
notice to the office of the State Attorney General that
a situation exists that necessitates judicial intervention, at which time the State Attorney General decides
whether to seek a court order.28
The Conscious Patient
Conscious refusal of the patient. The doctrine of
informed consent and its protection of bodily selfdetermination guarantees that even in an emergency
situation, “[a] physician must respect the refusal of treatment by a patient who is capable of providing consent.”29 In re Quackenbush illustrates this legal doctrine.
A 72-year-old cogent patient refused to consent to amputation of both of his legs as a result of a gangrenous
Hartman & Liang : Informed Consent : pp. 53–59
Hospital Physician March 1999 55
condition, despite the operation being necessary to
save the patient’s life.30 The treating hospital applied
for a court order to compel the procedure. The court
denied the hospital’s application, holding that the
patient’s right to privacy entitled him to “decide his
own future regardless of the absence of a dim prognosis.”30 However, a direct corollary to this notion of a
patient’s right to refuse life-saving treatment is that a
physician cannot be held liable for abiding by the patient’s decision to exercise that right.28
Medical incompetence of the patient. An informed
consent situation is more difficult if the patient is conscious but incapable of accurately comprehending his
or her own medical condition. In these cases, the physician must assess whether the patient is medically incompetent and thus incapable of expressly providing
informed consent. If the physician determines that the
patient is medically incompetent, the physician should
attempt to obtain consent from a relative of the patient
when feasible.14,29 However, if no alternate source for
the necessary consent is available, the physician may
treat the patient without consent if the treatment is in
the patient’s best interest. The critical question for the
physician is: under what circumstances is a patient
medically incompetent of giving informed consent?
Standards for determining the medical incompetence of a
patient. The generally accepted standard for determining a patient’s medical competency to consent to medical treatment has focused on the patient’s comprehension. The physician must assess if the patient in need of
emergency medical treatment has the mental ability to
reasonably understand the following information:29
• The nature of the patient’s condition
• The nature and effect of any proposed treatment
• The risks of both pursuing any proposed treatment and not pursuing any proposed treatment
Despite this objective criteria, medical competency
is a subjective evaluation of a patient’s capacity to consent based on the specific factual circumstances that
affect the patient.31 Because the evaluation is subjective, courts apply individualized standards to determine
a patient’s competency to give informed consent.31 As a
result, the burden of the initial competency evaluation
is placed on the physician (ie, the physician must assess
the patient using the previously noted criteria). However, ultimately the court may be the final arbiter of
whether a specific patient lacked the requisite mental
state to be deemed medically competent.
For example, in Miller v Rhode Island Hospital, the
court determined as a matter of law that a patient’s intoxication may render him incapable of giving informed
consent in an emergency care situation.29,31,32 In this
case, the patient was brought into the emergency room
following a car accident. The patient’s blood-alcohol
level of 0.233 was undisputed (the patient consumed
approximately 16 alcoholic beverages). When the emergency physicians asked the patient where he was injured,
the patient answered that his head, eyes, back, and ribs
were in pain. Also, the patient’s vision was blurred
because his eyes were filled with blood. Three members
of the hospital’s trauma team performed an evaluation
on the patient. Concerned about the extent of the
patient’s internal injuries, the physicians informed the
patient that a diagnostic peritoneal lavage was required;
however, the patient refused. The trauma team determined that the patient lacked the capacity to accurately
comprehend the full extent of his own injuries and
therefore was medically incompetent to give his informed consent or refuse treatment. The physicians explained to the patient that in this type of situation the
hospital’s policy was to perform the procedure. At that
point, the patient tried to get up and he started yelling.
He was then physically restrained, strapped to a gurney,
and given an anesthetic through a syringe. The procedure was performed. The patient left the hospital the
next morning against medical advice and then sued the
provider. From a finding against the defendant hospital
for battery, the hospital appealed to the Supreme Court
of Rhode Island.
The Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that the
determination of whether a patient’s intoxication would
render the patient incapable of giving informed consent depends on the specific circumstances. However,
the court reiterated that medical competency was the
relevant standard for physicians to judge conscious
patients in these circumstances (ie, whether the patient
is able to reasonably understand the medical condition
and the nature of any proposed medical procedure,
including the risks, benefits, and available alternatives). In this case, the court decided in favor of the
defendant hospital by ordering a new trial. The court
concluded that “a patient’s intoxication may have the
propensity to impair the patient’s ability to give informed consent.”29
Blood transfusion in the conscious patient. In emergency situations in which a conscious adult patient
needs a blood transfusion to preserve life, the general
rule that a medically competent individual has the
right to refuse life-saving treatment still applies.22 For
example, in Erickson v Dilgard, a patient needed an
operation to stop upper gastrointestinal bleeding.33
56 Hospital Physician March 1999
Hartman & Liang : Informed Consent : pp. 53–59
The patient consented to undergo surgery, but refused
to consent to receiving any blood transfusions. The
treating hospital petitioned the court for an order
authorizing a blood transfusion for the patient under
the theory that to undergo the necessary operation
without a blood transfusion was tantamount to suicide
and therefore a violation of penal law. Acknowledging
that the patient was fully competent and capable of giving informed consent, the court stated that the patient
had the “final say” in deciding whether to undergo a
particular medical procedure and denied the hospital’s
Similarly, in St. Mary’s Hospital v Ramsey, the court
upheld a patient’s right to refuse a blood transfusion in
which without transfusion the patient, who was suffering from renal disease, was expected to die within a few
hours.22,34 The court stated that “this competent, sick
adult has the right to refuse a transfusion regardless of
whether his refusal to do so arises from fear of adverse
reaction, religious belief, recalcitrance or cost.”34
Even when significant state interest is involved, a
physician must still abide by a competent patient’s
refusal to consent to treatment.24 In In re Brown, a
patient suffered acute trauma resulting from a gunshot
wound and was in serious need of a blood transfusion,
yet refused to consent to the procedure on religious
grounds.24 Because of the need to preserve the life of
the only eyewitness to the crime committed, the office
of the District Attorney petitioned the court ex parte
and obtained a court order authorizing the hospital to
provide the necessary blood transfusion, notwithstanding the patient’s religious beliefs. Following the surgery
and the blood transfusion, the patient appealed to the
Supreme Court of Mississippi, seeking to expunge the
lower court’s order authorizing the blood transfusion.
The court agreed with the patient and reversed the
lower court’s order, noting that the need for a live eyewitness to a crime did not amount to grave and imminent public danger, and stated that “[n]o physician or
hospital may subject one to medical treatment without
that person’s informed consent.”24
Blood transfusion in other circumstances. However, if a
patient who requires a transfusion is deemed medically
incompetent and if the patient and/or the patient’s
family members have objected to the transfusion, most
courts upon petition allow the health care provider to
perform transfusions necessary to preserve the patient’s life under the compelling state interest standard.20,22 Furthermore, consideration of a patient’s
medical competency or right to refuse life-saving treatment may be set aside when the potential death of that
patient affects the welfare of the patient’s minor children.22,35 In this scenario, the state may have a compelling interest to preserve the life of the parent by
ordering the transfusion in order to protect the minor
children from emotional and financial harm and abandonment.22,35 However, not all courts have been inclined to set aside the patient’s right to refuse a lifesaving blood transfusion in cases in which the welfare
of a child may be affected.25 At least one court has held
that the state’s interest in having two parents alive to
care for minor children does not supersede the individual’s constitutional right to privacy and religion and
thus the right to refuse life-sustaining treatment.22,36
The Minor Patient
For minors in an emergency care situation, the commonly accepted rule is similar to that of legal adults:
physicians generally are not held liable for treating a
minor without parental consent when an emergency
exists and immediate injury or death could result from
the delay associated with attempting to obtain parental
consent.37 However, courts are split on the issue of informed consent when a minor patient’s condition is
life-threatening yet does not require immediate medical attention. Some courts have held that the emergency exception does not apply and therefore parental
consent or consent from another legally authorized
individual must be obtained. Other courts apply the
mature minor exception, which allows the minor to
give informed consent if the patient has the ability to
understand and comprehend the nature of the proposed treatment as well as the associated risks and
potential results in view of the surrounding circumstances.37
The emergent and immediate case. Jackovach v Yocom
illustrates a case in which a clear emergency for a minor
abrogates the need for parental informed consent. In
this case, a 17-year-old boy was severely injured when he
jumped from a moving train and was caught and
dragged 80 ft by an iron step protruding from behind
the train car.38 The boy suffered a crushed elbow joint
and a 2-to-3-in scalp laceration from which he was bleeding profusely. The boy was subsequently brought to the
operating room and anesthetized so that the physicians
could stop the bleeding from the scalp wound. While
the boy was under anesthesia, the physicians determined
that the boy’s arm needed to be amputated because of
the immediate danger it posed to his life. After the arm
was amputated, the boy and his parents brought suit
against the physicians based on the theory that the procedure was performed without their informed consent. In holding for the defendant physicians, the
court noted that the physicians were faced with the
Hartman & Liang : Informed Consent : pp. 53–59
Hospital Physician March 1999 57
decision of bringing the patient out from under anesthesia only to obtain consent from the patient and his parents for the amputation. Returning the patient to consciousness for this time would have subjected the patient
to greater risk of shock because of a necessary second
anesthesia induction. The court held that in the face of
this life-threatening emergency, the physicians acted with
skilled judgment by deciding to amputate the arm; thus:
[I]f a surgeon is confronted with an emergency
which endangers the life or health of the patient, it is his duty to do that which the occasion
demands within the usual and customary practice among physicians and surgeons in the same
or similar localities, without the consent of the
The emergent but not immediate case. In contrast, in
Rogers v Sells, the court found that a defendant physician
was liable for not obtaining parental informed consent
before amputating a 14-year-old boy’s foot following a
car accident.39 In this case, the defendant physician
examined the boy and found that the boy’s right leg was
“crushed and mangled; that the muscles, blood vessels,
and nerves were torn and some of the nerves severed,
and that the foot had no circulation.”39 After the patient
was brought to the hospital, the defendant physician
amputated the boy’s foot without the permission of his
parents. The boy’s parents then sued the physician
based on the theory of lack of informed consent. The
issue for the court was whether emergency necessitating
the immediate amputation of the boy’s foot existed,
which would obviate the need for informed consent.
Although the court recognized an emergency exception
to the doctrine of informed consent, testimony indicated that the leg was neither swollen, turning black, nor
bleeding profusely, and the boy’s own testimony indicated that he was able to both wiggle and feel his toes on
the way to and while he was at the hospital. Therefore,
the court held that the situation was not an emergency
with the danger of immediate harm and that the physician had an obligation to obtain informed consent.39
Mature minor exception. Younts v St. Francis Hospital
is an example of the mature minor exception. In this
case, a 17-year-old minor was at the hospital visiting her
mother, who had undergone major surgery and was in
a semiconscious state. During her visit, the minor severed a portion of her finger in the hinge of a closing
door.2 The minor patient was taken to the emergency
room at which time she consented to surgical treatment, including a pinch graft taken from her forearm.
The procedure was successfully completed. However,
the patient’s mother brought suit against the hospital
based on a lack of informed consent for performing
the surgical procedure. The patient’s mother indicated
that if she had been consulted for the purposes of
informed consent, she would not have given her consent and instead would have first sought the opinion of
her family physician. However, the court noted that if
the treating physician waited for the patient’s mother to
completely regain consciousness following surgery to
obtain consent for the daughter’s treatment, the patient would have needlessly endured a painful injury.
Furthermore, the patient’s father lived 200 miles away
(as the patient’s parents were divorced) and his address
was unknown, so it was not possible to obtain his consent for the patient’s treatment. Finally, the court used a
contract standard to assess whether the patient could
provide informed consent, despite being a minor. In
this case, the court concluded that on the basis of the
patient’s age and her apparent ability to comprehend
the intricacies of the situation, the patient was mature
enough to understand the nature and consequences of
the procedure (ie, similar to entering into a contract)
and thus was mature enough to “knowingly consent to
the beneficial surgical procedure made necessary by the
accident.”2 Although the patient’s condition did not
constitute a life-threatening emergency, the court indicated that the consent given by the minor was valid
under the mature minor exception.37
Blood transfusion in a minor patient. Finally, if a
minor is in need of a life-saving blood transfusion, the
majority of courts are much less hesitant to intervene
because of the compelling state interest in preserving
the life of a child. Even when both the patient and the
patient’s parents have adamantly expressed their refusal
to consent to a life-saving blood transfusion (generally
because of religious beliefs), upon petition to the court,
the state is likely to intervene to preserve the life of the
minor.26 One court has effectively expressed the state’s
compelling interest in preserving the life of a minor by
stating, “[n]ot even a parent has unbridled discretion to
exercise their [sic] religious belief’s [sic] when the
state’s interest in preserving the health of the children
within its borders weighs in the balance.”26
Informed consent is an important legal doctrine
for all physicians. Emergency care situations, however, pose special concerns. By following basic procedures of medical assessment, understanding the legal
rights of the patient, and understanding the exceptions to the informed consent rule, the physician can
act in the patient’s best interest without incurring legal liability. HP
58 Hospital Physician March 1999
Hartman & Liang : Informed Consent : pp. 53–59
Hartman & Liang : Informed Consent : pp. 53–59
Hospital Physician March 1999 59
Copyright 1999 by Turner White Communications Inc., Wayne, PA. All rights reserved.
1. Schloendorff v. Society of N.Y. Hosp., 211 N.Y. 125, 105
N.E. 92 (1914).
2. Younts v. St. Francis Hosp. & School of Nursing, Inc.,
205 Kan. 292, 469 P.2d 330 (1970).
3. Furrow B, Greaney T, Johnson S, et al: The liability of
health care professionals. In Health Law. St. Paul, MN:
West, 1995:409–447.
4. Percle v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., 349 So.
2d 1289 (1977).
5. Salis v. U.S., 522 F.Supp. 989 (1981).
6. Kissenger v. Lofgren, 836 F.2d 678 (1988).
7. Haberson v. Parke Davis, Inc., 746 F.2d 517 (1984).
8. Crain v. Allison, 443 A.2d 558 (1982).
9. Physicians, surgeons, and other health-care providers. In
Corpus Juris Secundum. Ginow AO, Nikolic M, eds. St.
Paul, MN: West, 1987;70:506–508, § 94; Supp. 1996 § 94.
10. Contreras v. St. Luke’s Hosp., 78 Cal.App.3d 919, 144
Cal.Rptr. 647 (1978).
11. Liang BA: What needs to be said? Informed consent in the
context of spinal anesthesia. J Clin Anesth 1996;8:525–527.
12. McKinney v. Nash, 120 Cal.App.3d 428, 174 Cal.Rptr.
642 (1981) (quoting Truman v. Thomas, 27 Cal.3d 281,
611 P.2d 902 (1980)).
13. Cunningham v. Charles Pfizer & Co., 532 P.2d 1377 (1974).
14. Canterbury v. Spence, 464 F.2d 772, 150 U.S. App. D.C.,
cert. denied, 409 U.S. 1064, 93 S. Ct. 560 (1972).
15. Business and professions code, section 2397. In Deering’s
California Codes annotated. San Francisco: BancroftWhitney, 1986:128–130; Supp. 1996: 57.
16. Failure to inform—emergency situation (BAJI 6.16). In
California Jury Instructions [Book of Approved Jury Instructions (BAJI)], Civil, 8th ed. Breckenridge PG Jr, ed. St.
Paul, MN: West, 1994:208–209.
17. Barnett v. Bachrach, 34 A.2d 626 (1943).
18. Zitter JM: Malpractice: physician’s duty, under informed
consent doctrine, to obtain patient’s consent to treatment in pregnancy of childbirth case. In American Law
Reports, 4th ed. Glenn JA, ed. New York: Lawyers Cooperative, 1991;89:799–848; Supp. Sept. 1996: 13–14.
19. Tabor v. Scobee, 254 S.W.2d 474 (1951).
20. John F. Kennedy Memorial Hosp. v. Heston, 58 N.J. 576,
279 A.2d 670 (1971).
21. University of Cincinnati Hosp. v. Edmond, 30 Ohio
Misc. 2d 1, 506 N.E.2d 299 (1986).
22. Karnezis KC: Patient’s right to refuse treatment allegedly
necessary to sustain life. In American Law Reports, 3rd ed.
Kramer DT, ed. New York: Lawyers Cooperative, 1979;
93:67–85; Supp. Aug. 1996:21–23.
23. In re Fosimire, 75 N.Y.2d 218, 551 N.E.2d 77, 551 N.Y.S.2d
876 (1990).
24. In re Brown, 478 So.2d 1033 (1985).
25. The Stamford Hosp. v. Vega, 236 Conn. 646, 674 A.2d
821 (1996).
26. Novak v. Cobb County-Kennestone Hosp. Authority, 849
F. Supp. 1559 (1994), aff’d, 74 F.3d 1173 (1996).
27. Harrell v. St. Mary’s Hosp., 678 So.2d 455 (1996).
28. In re Dubreuil, 629 So.2d 819 (1993).
29. Miller v. Rhode Island Hosp., 625 A.2d 778 (1993).
30. In re Quackenbush, 156 N.J.Super. 282, 383 A.2d 785
31. Moujan WM: Informed consent—legal competency not
determinative of person’s ability to consent to medical
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