Article Title

Consent to Surgery


The legal aspects of a patient's consent to operation, or the lack of such consent, are many and varied. The general rule is that consent of the patient, or of someone authorized to act for him, is necessary in order for a physician to legally operate. This rule is not altered by the fact that an unauthorized operation is slight and ordinarily is not accompanied by serious consequences. Where no consent is present, a surgical operation upon the body is a technical battery, and in the absence of exceptional circumstances, appropriate damages may be recovered from the physician. The question as to whether consent, either either express or implied, has been given, is one of fact for the jury.