We analyzed 714 jury verdicts in informed consent cases tried in 25 states in 1985–2002 to determine whether the applicable standard of care (“patient” vs. “professional” standard) affected the outcome. Verdicts for plaintiffs were significantly more frequent in states with a patient standard than in states with a professional standard (27 percent vs. 17 percent, P = 0.02). This difference in outcomes did not hold for other types of medical malpractice litigation (36 percent vs. 37 percent, P = 0.8). The multivariate odds of a plaintiff’s verdict were more than twice as high in states with a patient standard than in states with a professional standard (odds ratio = 2.15, 95% confidence interval = 1.32–3.50). The law’s expectations of clinicians with respect to risk disclosure appear to vary geographically.
David M. Studdert et al., Geographic Variation in Informed Consent Law: Two Standards for Disclosure of Treatment Risks, 4 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 103-124 (2007)
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Civil Procedure, Informed consent (Medical law), Negligence