Karen Kumar, a prominent medical malpractice attorney and partner with Hicksons’ Lawyers Health Law Team in New South Wales, Australia, discusses consent and regional anesthesia from a legal perspective. What is required at law for a person to validly consent to a medical procedure is well known however, assessing this can be problematic for the clinicians who are required to obtain the consent. Whether a person has the capacity to consent will also depend upon the nature of the risks involved in undergoing the recommended procedure. It is clear that in the future a practitioner’s role in obtaining their patient's consent to enable a medical procedure to be performed, in circumstances where an increasing percentage of his or her patients are going to be aged 65 years and over, is likely to become more complicated and complex. It is therefore worthwhile to consider these issues within the legal framework and offer practical advice to assist in ensuring that you have obtained valid consent from either the patient themselves, or where the patient does not have the capacity to give consent, from an authorised decision maker. This presentation will provide an algorithm to assist practitioners to obtain valid consent in relation to medical procedures that they undertake.
As a partner within the Hicksons’ Lawyers Health Law Team Karen Kumar specialises in medical malpractice. Karen has 20 years’ experience in advising health sector clients in a variety of different matters including medical and dental malpractice, coronial inquests, public liability, professional indemnity and health professional disciplinary hearings.
As a registered nurse and lawyer, Karen has a unique ability to appreciate the needs of her health care clients having worked in the health sector for a number of years. This dual experience allows Karen to provide practical and commercial solutions to clients’ medico-legal issues. Karen is named in Best Lawyers 2019 for both Insurance Law and Medical Negligence and is named as a recommended practitioner in the current Doyles Guide for Leading Defendant Medical Negligence and Malpractice Lawyers.