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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Dr. Kevin Crawford operated on Janie Sanchez’s broken wrist in December 1999. Afterwards, Sanchez experienced pain, numbness and tingling in the hand. Crawford recommended a stellate ganglion block. Two blocks were performed but they were ineffective. Sanchez told Crawford that she did not want another block performed. Crawford recommended a wrist manipulation procedure as an alternative to another block. Before the wrist manipulation, Sanchez signed two consent forms, one at Crawford’s office a few days before surgery and the other on the day of surgery. Dr. Lowry Schaub, an anesthesiologist, assisted with the surgery, which was performed under general anesthesia. The doctors testified that during the surgery, they saw signs of an acute flare-up of Sanchez’s reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a condition of stiffness and swelling of the hand that can cause severe post-operative pain, inhibited movement and reduced benefits from surgery. The doctors determined that another block would mitigate these symptoms, so they performed a third block. Sanchez presented some evidence that performing the block while she was unconscious deviated from the accepted medical standard of care. As a result of this third block, Sanchez developed an infection, resulting in spinal surgery. Sanchez sued Schaub and Crawford for failing to obtain her informed consent to perform the third stellate ganglion block. By agreed order, the trial court dismissed with prejudice Sanchez’s other malpractice-related claims, leaving only her claim that the doctors “failed to obtain informed consent with regard to the stellate ganglion block.” The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the doctors on grounds that Sanchez had signed forms consenting to the procedure. The 7th Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the forms, which did not give specific consent for the doctors to perform the stellate ganglion block, incorporated recognized common-law duties regarding informed consent. The 7th Court reasoned that performing the procedure to which Sanchez had verbally objected might have deviated from accepted medical practices, thus raising a fact issue regarding Sanchez’s consent. The 7th Court concluded that the trial court should have proceeded to trial to hear testimony on accepted medical practices in these circumstances. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. Sanchez’s informed consent claim, the Texas Supreme Court stated, is governed by �6.02 of former Art. 4590i, now codified as Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code �74.101. Former �6.02 provides: “In a suit against a physician or health care provider involving a health care liability claim that is based on the failure of the physician or health care provider to disclose or adequately to disclose the risks and hazards involved in the medical care or surgical procedure rendered by the physician or health care provider, the only theory on which recovery may be obtained is that of negligence in failing to disclose the risks or hazards that could have influenced a reasonable person in making a decision to give or withhold consent.” Under former �6.02, the court found that Sanchez could prevail on her informed consent claim only if she showed that the doctors negligently failed to disclose the procedure’s risks or hazards. Sanchez argued that because she opted for wrist manipulation rather than another block and had earlier informed Dr. Crawford that she did not want any more block injections, she refused consent to the block. Thus, she argued that her lack of consent supported a claim for lack of informed consent. But under the former �6.02, the court stated that lack of informed consent is a particular subspecies of negligence based on a failure to disclose the risks or hazards of a procedure. Sanchez, however, did not complain that she was unaware of the risks or hazards of the block. To the contrary, the court stated, she was fully aware of the risks, having twice undergone the procedure. Sanchez verbally objected to a third block, but the court stated that an action for total lack of consent sounds in battery or negligence � claims that Sanchez agreed to dismiss � not informed consent under the former �6.02. Finally, the court noted “the fact that Sanchez, subsequent to her earlier verbal objections to a third block, consented in writing to”different procedures than those planned’ and”any anesthesia deemed advisable’ by Dr. Schaub, and acknowledged that”the anesthesia may have to be changed possibly without explanation to me[.]‘” Thus, the court held that given the plain language of the former �6.02, the summary judgment evidence could not support a claim that the doctors failed to obtain Sanchez’s informed consent. OPINION:Per curiam. Johnson, J., did not participate in the decision.

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