Can Medical Services be Legally Forced upon you?

Under the doctrine of informed consent, a doctor cannot perform a medical operation unless he has the consent of the patient. Otherwise, he can be held liable for battery. This requirement can be waived in cases of emergency under specific circumstances: 1) the patient must be unconscious or unable to make a decision. 2) time must be of the essence. 3) under the circumstances, a reasonable person would consent, and the doctor must reasonably believe that the patient would consent. Here, the card carried by Malette clearly indicates that she would not have consented. Shulman was aware of Jehovah’s Witnesses rejection of blood transfusion. Malette thus rejected, in advance, blood transfusions even in the case of emergencies.

Shulman could not reasonable believe that the instructions were not valid, since the card was signed by Malette, and her carrying it around showed that it did represent her current beliefs.


43 pages.




Cases Referring to this Case

[2010] SASC 176; (2010) 107 SASR 352; (2010) 240 FLR 402

[2009] WASC 229; (2009) 40 WAR 84; 2 ACJ 3

[2009] NSWSC 761; (2009) 74 NSWLR 88

[1995] ACTSC 5

[1995] ACTSC 156


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