Sunday, February 3, 2013

Largey v. Rothman case brief

Largey v. Rothman case summary
110 N.J. 204, 540 A.2d 504 (1988)

PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Plaintiff patient challenged the decision of the Superior Court, Appellate Division (New Jersey), which affirmed the trial court's determination that defendant physician had not failed to provide plaintiff with sufficient information so that she could give informed consent for the operative procedure in her medical malpractice action.

FACTS:
-The court remanded for a new trial after reversing the trial court's determination that plaintiff patient had consented to an operative procedure performed by defendant physician, and that he had not failed to provide her with sufficient information so that she could give informed consent.

HOLDING:
The court adopted a new standard, the "reasonable patient" or "prudent patient" standard, to determine the issue of a patient's informed consent to treatment and discarded the previous "reasonable physician" or "professional" standard.

ANALYSIS:

The court concluded that the "reasonable patient" or "prudent patient" standard is a duty on the part of a physician to warn of the dangers lurking in the proposed treatment and to impart information that the patient has every right to expect as well as a duty of reasonable disclosure of the choices with respect to proposed therapy and the dangers inherently and potentially involved. The court instructed that there would be presented on the retrial a factual issue for the jury's resolution: would the risk of lymphedema influence a prudent patient in reaching a decision on whether to submit to the surgery?

CONCLUSION: The court remanded for a new trial after reversing the determination that defendant physician had not failed to provide plaintiff patient with sufficient information for her to give informed consent, and instructed the retrial to use the "reasonable patient" or "prudent patient" standard in resolving the issue of whether the risk of lymphedema would influence a prudent patient in deciding on whether to submit to surgery.

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