Canterbury V. Spence Case Study

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Canterbury v. Spence is just one of the many cases which involve the aspect of informed consent. Within this case Jerry Canterbury was not informed of the risks which were involved in his particular surgery and was left paralyzed after a minor fall (Vaughn 186). Because of the failure of Canterbury’s physician to inform his patient, the court then laid out a decision regarding the amount of disclosure that a doctor is to practice. Although the doctor is “under an obligation to communicate specific information to the patient” (Vaughn 217), the extent of that information is still under some debate. On the topic of “full” disclosure and its appropriateness within the medical field, many courts have described this procedure as “unrealistic” (Vaughn 218), and “generally unnecessary from the patients viewpoint as well” (Vaughn 218). This viewpoint suggests that a full detailed explanation of every possible risk to the patient, is somewhat ridiculous, suggesting that it is wasting not only the time of the physician but the patient as well. I can somewhat agree with this viewpoint. I can see…show more content…
That right can be effectively exercised only if the patient possesses enough information to enable an intelligent choice” (Vaughn 218). This means that a physician must disclose enough information about a procedure which will then allow a patient to knowledgably accept or decline that particular treatment. Another way to explain this ruling is to understand that a patient needs to have reasonable knowledge about the procedure; they need to understand the benefits, the risks, and the worst possible outcomes of the procedure they may or may not agree to be a part

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