ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. Mohr (Plaintiff) brought suit against Williams (Defendant), a surgeon, for assault and battery after Defendant successfully and skillfully performed an operation on Plaintiff’s left ear that impaired Plaintiff’s hearing.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. If an operation is performed without Plaintiff’s consent, and the circumstances were not such as to justify its performance without consent, then the operation is wrongful and thus unlawful.
Issue. Did Plaintiff impliedly consent to an operation on her left ear when she consented to an operation on her right ear?
Held. No. Judgment affirmed.
* An operation that is performed without the consent of the patient is wrongful unless the circumstances were such as to justify its performance without it. If the operation is wrongful it is unlawful. There is no evidence that the left ear involved a serious or life threatening situation. The circumstances were such that consent should have been obtained. Whether or not consent was obtained is a question left to the jury. If the operation was not consented to, then it was unlawful.
* The amount of Plaintiff’s recovery, if she is entitled to recover at all, must depend upon the character and extent of the injury inflicted. The beneficial nature of the operation and the good faith of Defendant should be taken into consideration.
Discussion. Plaintiff’s consent to an operation on one ear does not extend to an operation on the other ear. In genuine emergencies, an implied consent may be found.