Only Doctors Can Obtain Informed Consent, Pa. Justices Rule

By Matt Fair (June 20, 2017, 6:55 PM EDT) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court revived a malpractice suit against a Geisinger Health System physician over a botched brain surgery, ruling that physicians must take personal responsibility for obtaining the informed consent of their patients in advance of medical procedures.

The justices ruled 4-3 that a jury, which ultimately sided with the surgeon in the case, had been improperly allowed to consider evidence that qualified members of the doctor's staff had provided information about the risks of the procedure.

Instead, the court ruled, a physician's duty to obtain informed consent was "non-delegable."

"Without direct dialogue and a two-way exchange between the physician...

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