“Before a physician provides medical treatment to a patient, the physician is required to explain the treatment to the patient and to warn of any material risks or dangers of the treatment, so that the patient can make an intelligent and informed decision about whether or not to go forward with the proposed treatment. This is known as the doctrine of informed consent.” – Maryland Civil Pattern Jury Instruction 27:4
If a jury were to know of all the facts presented in Adventures in Cardiology, a plaintiff in an informed consent case could feel pretty confident about the verdict.
But the jury will not know all of the facts in this case.
Hopkins defense lawyer Mairi Pat Maguire has waged a vigorous campaign over the past eight years to keep this case from making it to court. She failed at that, but she did manage to whittle the case down to this specific point:
“The original pleading alleges that Dr. Calkins did not inform Plaintiff that he (Dr. Calkins) did not know the safety and efficacy of the procedure, that he believed the procedure to be experimental… The operative facts required to prove the original claim involve what Dr. Calkins knew as of March 25, 2002, about the safety and efficacy of the procedure and Dr. Calkins’ competency and skill level to perform the procedure on that date.”
Which is OK with me, seeing as how there is plenty of proof that Hugh Calkins did not know whether the procedure was safe or effective, that he did indeed consider it to be experimental, and that he considered it to be very technically challenging to him – and that he failed to inform my wife of these facts.
We shall see what happens.
The jury will not be told that Richard Wu performed the procedure, and that Richard Wu never met my wife. The jury will not be allowed to hear from any expert witnesses for the plaintiff. The jury will not be allowed to consider economic losses. The jury will not be allowed to consider any negligence or deviations from the standard of care.
A lawyer told Pam that she is like a soldier who is going into battle after losing three limbs.
But she still has a leg to stand on: the truth.