Issues surrounding consent are always interesting. As you are aware there are many forms of consent, verbal, implied and written. Off course we expect that clients are informed about the procedure therefore have "informed" consent. However the notion of informed" is open to interpretation.
The above case was reported in the Sun Herald today:
A lesbian couple lost their case against an obstetrician when he implanted two embryos instead of one. They also complained of loss of love within their relationship due to the increase in family due to having two babies instead of one. Now we all do know that the chances of multiply pregnancies are greater in IVF when you implant more than one egg - it would be interesting to know if this couple were aware of that. However it was stated that
the birth mother only told him she wanted one embryo minutes before she was sedated, after previously signing a form consenting for up to two embryos to be implanted.
Does this mean that the obstetrician should have postponed the procedure until he was sure what his client wanted? or that the written consent was more valid than the spoken word?
The couple said it was Dr Armellin's responsibility to ensure his patients wishes were carried out during the operation
The case, before Justice Annabelle Bennett, sparked nationwide condemnation of the women in the media.
The mothers issued a statement during the civil proceedings arguing the case had nothing to do with their feelings towards their daughters, but with Dr Armellin's failure to comply with their wishes....
The ACT Supreme Court today ruled in favour of Dr Armellin, and ordered the couple, who live in Melbourne, to pay his legal costs
I think this case involved several issues: that is, it was blurred due to it being a lesbian couple, and the perception that the couple were suing because they were unhappy about the second baby. The real issue here for me was of CONSENT, the woman changed her mind at the last minute and was ignored, she said "I only want one egg inserted" the rest is a red hearing!
It will be interesting to read the full judgement, what do you think?