Cases

Feb 11, 2008 Martin Stein Healthcare Law
Segal v. McBride, 2008 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 1181

In a medical malpractice case, the Court of Appeal affirmed a directed verdict in favor of GMSR’s client, the defendant surgeon, on the issue of informed consent. One novel aspect of the case was that the plaintiff-patient was also a medical doctor, specializing in the use of medication in spinal cases, but still argued lack of informed consent because his hand-picked surgeon didn’t inform him that he would be using a morphine-based paste to reduce post-surgical pain following back surgery. Case law (2 Supreme Court decisions and 3 Court of Appeal decisions) held that expert evidence is necessary to establish a duty to disclose this type of secondary information. Plaintiff offered no expert evidence on the issue; failed to designate himself as an expert; mistakenly claimed the issue was one of first-impression; and argued that because he is a physician, the defendant owed him a greater duty of disclosure than would be owed to a lay patient. The Court of Appeal rejected all of plaintiff’s contentions.

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