Consent to Surgery and Waiver and Release of Hospital and Staff
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The relationship of physician or hospital to a patient is a consensual one, and it is the general rule that in the absence of emergency or unanticipated conditions, a hospital/physician must first obtain the consent of the patient, if the patient is competent to give it, or of someone legally authorized to give it for the patient, before treating the patient. Consent for surgery or other therapy arises from the contract between hospital/physician and patient and is given only in connection with what the parties understand is to be done.
Unless a person who gives consent to an operation knows the nature and degree of its danger, a consent does not represent an informed choice and is ineffectual. In other words, only an informed consent will adequately protect the hospital/physician. In order to assure that an informed consent is obtained, the hospital/physician must make the disclosures necessary to form the basis of such a consent. The consent, when in writing, should contain the patient's stipulation that the patient has received a satisfactory explanation from the hospital/physician as to the type of operation or treatment and its attendant dangers and possible complications, as well as the results that may be anticipated from a curative standpoint.
A physician may not contract against the effect of the physician's own negligence in treating a patient.
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