#LegallySpeaking: Medico-Legal Tip
Tip: The consent form must be filled by one doctor/nurse, in one sitting, if possible without changing the pen.
• Facts of the case:
~ 85 Y/M diagnosed with prostatic enlargement was advised for surgery.
~ Doctors first adopted the Trans Urethral Resection of Prostate (for short TURP) method but subsequently switched over to trans-vesicle route (open surgical method) due to technical reasons.
~ Patient's condition started deteriorating two hours after the operation was over. He had to be given oxygen which, however, did not help improve his condition and the patient finally expired.
• Patient's Allegations:
~ The complainant, who is a doctor himself, argued that he signed a blank consent form which was manipulated to add the method TURP.
• Court Held:
~ The word 'TURP' on the form does not appear to have been manipulated or written by a different hand.
~ Besides, when there was no compulsion for the educated doctor to sign on a blank form nor was there any emergency on the previous day, the least expected of the complainant was to have filled up the column properly if as alleged it was blank
~ This contention of having signed on a blank consent form, therefore, has to be rejected outright.
~ The consent form here was filled without a pen-change and by one person so when the court found that it was not manipulated, they rejected the argument presented by the complainant.
Note: The objective of the #LegallySpeaking initiative is to spread awareness about the medicolegal implications of commonly encountered scenarios in a clinician's daily practice.