Risk and consequences – Supreme Court shapes law on informed consent, scope of disclosure
In 2013 the Supreme Court of Canada considered the law on informed consent in two landmark decisions: Ediger v. Johnston  S.C.J. No. 18, and Cojocaru v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Centre  S.C.J. No. 30. This paper will discuss two often overlooked aspects of the law of informed consent – the physician’s obligation to explain the implications should a risk materialize, and the need for the plaintiff to prove “double causation” in consent cases.
Author: Paul McGivern & Natalia Ivolgina
Informed Consent: How to Tip the Balance in Favour of your Client
A review of the case law in British Columbia over the last decade reveals that while courts have adopted a less paternalistic and more “patient-centered” approach to informed consent, these cases continue to fail on the causation branch of the analysis. This paper will discuss why these cases continue to fail, and what counsel can do to tip the balance in favour of their clients.
Author: Susanne Raab
Proving Causation in Birth Trauma Cases: Navigating the Twilight Zone Between Factual and Legal Causation
The Canadian Medical Protective Association is the primary insurer for Canadian physicians faced with medical malpractice lawsuits. The Association’s 2011 Annual Report indicates that out of 894 civil action cases closed that year, 293 settled out of court (approximately one-third). Of the legal actions that proceeded to trial, 13 judgments were rendered for the plaintiff (patient) and 55 for the defendant (doctor). According to Professor Russell Brown most plaintiffs fail in medical negligence cases because they are unable to prove that the medical professional’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injury. As this paper will examine, this is especially true in birth trauma cases, where proving causation is often the most trying and costly part of the case.
Author: Natalia Ivolgina & Paul McGivern
Hospitalists – The Evolving Model of Hospital Care
In the 20th century a patient’s hospital care was overseen daily by a dedicated family doctor who heralded the arrival at birth and pronounced passing at death. Today this traditional model of hospital care is fading. This paper will focus on this change as it raises new issues that are almost certain to be litigated in future medical negligence cases.
Author: Linda Wong, Brenda Osmond & Natalia Ivolgina