This article examines the policy issues behind the doctrine of informed consent and reviews the decisional law and policies on the topic of ghost surgery. Jury instructions employed in California are also addressed. The author concludes that substitution of surgeons should not automatically prompt liability for a battery. The public policy behind the informed consent doctrine is to favor patients' self-determination over the doctor's paternalism. Imposition of liability for battery in a case where the defendant does not knowingly deviate from the consent is not necessary to effectuate this purpose.
Thomas Lundmark, Surgery by an Unauthorized Surgeon as a Battery, 10 J.L. & Health 287 (1995-1996)