Heyl Royster

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

april 6, 2015

On March 31, 2014, the Third District Appellate Court filed its opinion in Gore v. Provena Hospital, 2015 IL App (3d) 130446, 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 regular 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 known the ED physician was not an employee of the hospital. The fact that the paramedics unilaterally chose to take the minor to the defendant hospital and 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.

Heyl Royster regularly prepares consent to treatment forms to protect hospitals from apparent agency actions, and regularly defends actions brought against hospitals and other entities alleging apparent agency with independent medical providers. Please contact our office if your organization could benefit from these services.

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