The concept of informed consent is important in the law of medical malpractice in Oregon and elsewhere. It requires a physician to give the patient full disclosure of the nature of any treatment or surgical procedure that is going to take place and to obtain the informed consent of the patient to go forward. Where it is not given, and where that deficiency is combined with a surgical error that causes injury, there will usually be two counts at least in any legal claim for compensation that is made.

The lack of proper informed consent was alleged in a lawsuit filed earlier this month against several doctors and a medical center. That is only a secondary count in the case, however, with the main count being that the surgeons committed a grievous surgical error during the procedure. The 54-year-old plaintiff alleges that the defendants negligently cut her middle cerebral artery when attempting to remove a benign tumor.

Despite having no problems with vision, speech, balance and movement prior to the surgery, after the surgery, she was paralyzed on her right side, could not speak, swallow or control her bowels and bladder function. The lawsuit alleges that the doctors fell below the required standard of care for a surgical operation of this nature. The cerebral artery is one of the main suppliers of oxygen to the brain.

The complaint alleges that the patient had a stroke when that artery was severed. It is alleged that she now requires 24-hour care. She also had to undergo a year of intensive inpatient therapy before returning to her own home. She allegedly will be disabled for the rest of her life.

She can only say a few words now, and she continues to have difficulty moving the right side of her body, according to the complaint. It is also alleged that she can no longer take care of herself and will need care for the rest of her life. The foregoing facts, if proved, will satisfy the basic elements of a medical negligence case filed in Oregon based on a surgical error.

Source:, "Linn County woman files $15 million medical malpractice claim against UIHC", Trish Mehaffey, Mar. 15, 2016