Did you give informed consent?

Posted: 8th August 2017

OperationEveryone knows that, if you are injured by a doctor’s negligence, compensation is payable. However, far fewer people understand that exactly the same applies if you are subjected to a treatment or operation without your informed consent.

This was illustrated in a High Court case concerning a liposuction procedure carried out by a cosmetic surgeon to sculpt a patient’s thighs and buttocks. The procedure had been performed competently, but the patient argued that it was carried out far too aggressively and that too much fat had been removed from her legs.

In upholding her damages claim, the Court found that her objective in undergoing the procedure was to look more feminine. It was more likely than not that she had not requested a sculptured, muscled or high-definition appearance or the removal of substantial quantities of fat.

It was unclear why the surgeon had chosen to provide a procedure that had neither been requested nor required by the patient. Even on her own evidence, the risks were materially increased by the more extensive and aggressive procedure performed. In the circumstances, she was awarded compensation of £154,301.