The issue of informed consent frequently arises in the context of medical malpractice cases.
I’m used to sitting in depositions in which a medical malpractice defense attorney will hand my client’s informed consent over to my client and then proceed with a series of questions intended to confuse. Malpractice victims obviously do not consent to allow a doctor to commit malpractice, but defense attorneys like to use informed consents against a plaintiff in any way possible.
In Nevada, our Supreme Court recently clarified several informed consent issues in the context of a chiropractic malpractice case.
In Bronneke v. Rutherford, 120 Nev. 230, 89 P.3d 40 (2004), the Court held that consent to treatment may
be express or implied. By seeking chiropractic treatment, a plaintiff’s consent to the particular technique may be
implied because as a practical matter, health professionals cannot be required to obtain express consent before each touch or test they perform on a patient.
If you are a malpractice victim, ensure that you are properly prepared by counsel with respect to questions that may arise at deposition, and at trial, regarding informed consent.
Steve is the Managing Shareholder of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, a civil litigation law firm located in Reno, Nevada. He practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation and injury law, and has authored one of the definitive guides to Nevada civil law that is widely used by Nevada judges and attorneys, his book entitled Elements of Nevada Legal Theories.