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Medicine and the Law$
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K. Kannan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198082880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198082880.001.0001

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(p.172) 3 Consent
Medicine and the Law

K. Kannan

Oxford University Press

Informed consent is a loaded legal expression and in Indian context of medical paternalism, the norm is ordinary consent. The term here signifies the patient to be informed about the ailment, the degree of risk involved, and chances of success. There is a whole gamut of situations and types of persons, where consent is not feasible and the doctor here is guided by surrogate consent or substituted judgment of a lawful guardian or directives of court as patria parens or merely going by accepted standard medical practice. Teenage abortion and rights of parent to be informed or sterilisation in mentally ill or mentally retarded patients pose acute dilemmas in clinical practice that have thrown up a large body of case law in foreign countries but though not major issues at present, they may perhaps soon attract large judicial attention in courts in India as well.

Keywords:   informed consent, medical paternalism, Bolam test, consent for persons with disability, teenage pregnancy and abortion, sterilisation for person with disability, compulsory vaccination, alcohol breath analysis

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