Surgery & Liability; the risks of failing to advise of the risks…

LISA THEFAUT v FRANCIS JOHNSTON EWHC 497 QBD 14/03/2017

The claimant underwent surgery for the severe pain in her back and numbness in her left leg, but unfortunately, it exacerbated her leg pain and failed to resolve her back pain.

It was found that a reasonable patient with such symptoms, fully and properly advised, would have either rejected surgery or sought a second opinion, given the experts’ agreement that the chances of successful surgery were around 50% as for back pain and 85% for leg pain;  lower than advised.  The defendant had not met the test for informed consent under Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11 – followed.

The surgery itself was not found to be negligent.

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