Patient Consent Conversation

  • Bernadette Richards
Reference work entry


The law recognizes two quite distinct wrongs: there is the intentional interference with bodily integrity and there is negligence, which is not about the actual touching of the patient but about expectations regarding information provided prior to medical treatment. Both situations are referred to as consent but deal with quite distinct legal issues. The question of trespass is relatively straightforward and will not be dealt with in any great detail here; the content of the pre-treatment conversation poses much more complex legal questions and will be the focus of this chapter. An appropriately informed patient is empowered to make decisions about their treatment options and the legal question of whether or not appropriate levels of information have been provided is addressed through consideration of professional standards of care. This chapter will explain the legal test for standard of care and considerations of damage and causation. It provides a clear outline of negligence law as it applies to the pre-treatment conversation.


Material Information Civil Liability Flight Attendant Legal Question Sympathetic Ophthalmia 
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Further Reading

  1. Richards B, de Zwart M, Ludlow K. Tort Law Principles. Pyrmont: Thomson Lawbook Co.; 2012.Google Scholar
  2. Sappideen C, Vines P, Watson P. Torts: Commentary and Materials. Casebook, 11th ed. Pyrmont: Thomson, Lawbook Co.; 2009.Google Scholar
  3. White B, McDonald F, Wilmott L, editors. Health Law in Australia. Pyrmont: Thomson, Lawbook Co.; 2010.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Law SchoolUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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