All risks, likely and remote, are disclosed.
What a reasonable physician would
disclose under the same or similar
would view as "material" is disclosed.
The unique informational needs of the
particular patient determine what is
List A (Required disclosures).
List B (Optional disclosures).
Figure 1-12. Standards of disclosure.
REASONABLE PERSON STANDARD OF DISCLOSURE AND UNIQUE
While it is not necessary or desirable to outline all possible risks, it is important to
take into account the unique informational needs of each patient. For example, a
concert pianist requiring surgery would need to know about the possible risks of a 10
percent loss of motion in the hand, that could result from an operation. For the
pianist, such a risk, however remote, would be crucial since the pianist's livelihood
and creative fulfillment require full range of fine motor skills of the hand. On the other
hand, a day laborer, undergoing the same surgery, would probably not consider this
risk particularly relevant. (Other information might be crucial based, perhaps, on
family health history or other factors.) Less severe or less probable risks may be
relevant and important to a particular patient. Thus, the dialogue between physician
and patient is important in ascertaining the patient's unique informational needs.