There are many legal implications, not the least being the issue of informed consent, inherent in the consensual relationship of physician and patient. It is generally agreed that a physician must obtain the patient's consent before proceeding with treatment; otherwise he subjects himself to the risk of liability for malpractice or assault and battery. Consent to treatment need not be express, but can be either implied from the facts arising from the contacts and dealings between physician and patient' or implied by law as in emergency situations. However, another issue that must be resolved is the validity of consent to medical or surgical treatment. More specifically, can any consent to treatment, whether express or implied, constitute valid authorization to the physician unless the patient understands the scope and extent of his consent?
Charles J. Weyandt,
Valid Consent to Medical Treatment: Need the Patient Know?,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol4/iss3/6