Thanks to Prof. Childs for inspiring this post by his arguing against this idea. Access to the internet is universal. It contains all the information published about medical treatments in use. The reasonable person in treatment now has an affirmative duty to research all treatments on the internet. The courts will start to recognize the obvious.
The physician has superior knowledge from experience in other patients of unreported, new adverse events from a treatment.
If an adverse effect has been listed in the package insert, the patient's knowledge is superior. If he does not know a medical term, medical dictionaries are available on line, for free. The patient not only knows the bad effect from the internet. He has a minute by minute knowledge of its effect on him, all day, every day. This knowledge also relates to a duty to mitigate harm.
The family's knowledge of the adverse effect and their failure to act is an intervening unforeseen cause that increases risk, with a superiority laying between the knowledge of the patient and of the doctor. If the plaintiff is a child, then the family has a statutory duty to protect the plaintiff. They have an affirmative duty to mitigate harm to a minor child.
The doctor sees him a few minutes, every so often, and has the least real world knowledge of any party.
2 years ago