The Pediatric Cardiac Inquest Report - Chapter 1



The issue of consent

These proceedings have given rise to a clear question of whether the parents of the deceased children gave proper consent to the operations that their children underwent before their deaths.

I recognize that to make a declaration of consent or lack thereof runs the risk of transgressing the very line about which I have spoken on the issue of culpability. To declare that a particular operation occurred without proper consent gives almost immediate rise to the conclusion that the party, or parties participating in the operation engaged in an illegal act, perhaps amounting to an assault on the patient. That is a reasonable conclusion from a finding of a lack of consent.

However, the question of what patients (or in this case parents of patients) were and ought to have been told and, in the future, ought to be told, is a matter that merits the attention of this report. Readers will note later on in the text that the question of what parents were told or ought to have been told is commented upon, but in so doing I have adopted the approach suggested by the case law.



Current Home - Table of Contents - Chapter 1 - The issue of consent
Next The Law of Medical Consent
Previous Culpability
Section 1 Chapter 1 - Introduction to the Issues
  Chapter 2 - Pediatric Cardiac Issues
  Chapter 3 - The Diagnosis of Pediatric Heart Defects and their Surgical Treatment
  Chapter 4 - The Health Sciences Centre
Section 2 Chapter 5 - Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in Winnipeg 1950-1993
  Chapter 6 - The Restart of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in 1994
January 1, 1994 to May 17, 1994
  Chapter 7 - The Slowdown
May 17 to September 1994
  Chapter 8 - Events Leading to the Suspension of the Program
September 7, 1994 to December 23, 1994
  Chapter 9 - 1995 - The Aftermath of the Shutdown
January to March, 1995
Section 3 Chapter 10 - Findings and Recommendations
Appendix 1 - Glossary of terms used in this report
Appendix 2 - Parties to the Proceedings and counsel
Appendix 3 - List of witnesses and dates of testimony
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