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Illinois Appellate Court Reaffirms Importance of Well-Drafted Consent to Treatment Forms

On March 31, 2015, the Third District Appellate Court filed its opinion in Gore v. Provena Hospital, regarding whether a hospital was entitled to summary judgment for allegations of apparent agency. In Gore, a minor was transported by paramedics to the nearby defendant hospital, despite the mother's insistence that the minor be transported to another hospital so the minor could be seen by his primary care physician. The minor was initially seen by the ED physician before his mother arrived at the defendant hospital. Upon arrival, the mother signed a consent form indicating "all doctors furnishing services ... are not employees nor agents" of the defendant hospital. The Appellate Court determined the hospital was entitled to summary judgment because the consent form was clear, and the plaintiff knew or should have know the ED physician was not an employee of the hospital. The fact that the ED physician initially saw the minor before the consent form was signed did not necessitate a different result. The court also rejected the argument that it was necessary for the hospital to orally explain the written consent.

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About this Author

J. Matthew Thompson, Heyl Royster, Civil Litigation Attorney

Matt concentrates his practice in the area of civil litigation, including the defense of cases in the areas of medical malpractice and professional liability, products liability, and commercial litigation. Matt regularly defends physicians, nurses, hospitals and clinics in professional liability claims involving significant injury or death. He has also defended complex product liability actions involving catastrophic injury. Matt also represents businesses and individuals in commercial and real estate litigation. 

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