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Cobbs v. Grant

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Cobbs sued Grant for medical malpractice when Grnat a doctor, did not inform Cobbs of the risks associated with an operation to remove stomach ulcers.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A doctor is required to reveal any information that any other medical professional in good standing would reveal under the same circumstances prior to treating a patient.

    Facts.

    Dr. Grant (Grant) informs Cobbs that he needed to undergo surgery when Cobbs had a stomach ulcer. Grant did not inform Cobbs of the risks associated with the surgery. During the surgery, Grant performed two additional surgeries: one to remove an additional ulcer, and another surgery Cobb’s spleen. Cobbs filed suit for medical malpractice. The jury found for Cobbs.

    Issue.

    Whether a doctor is required to reveal any information that any other medical professional in good standing would reveal under the same circumstances prior to treating a patient?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. Cobb’s claim is not a lack of consent, but rather a lack of informed consent, making this a negligence claim, rather than a battery claim.

    Points of Law - for Law School Success

    The problem with the subjective test was pointed out by the California Supreme Court in the case of Cobbs v. Grant wherein it is stated: Since at the time of trial the uncommunicated hazard has materialized, it would be surprising if the patient-plaintiff did not claim that had he been informed of the dangers he would have declined treatment.

    View Full Point of Law
    Discussion.

    A doctor is required to reveal any information that any other medical professional in good standing would reveal under the same circumstances prior to treating a patient. A doctor is required to reveal the risk of death, bodily harm, and any complications that can result from the procedure.


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