What is the difference between doctrine of extended consent and doctrine of anticipation?

What is the difference between doctrine of extended consent and doctrine of anticipation?

The doctrines of extended consent and anticipation are legal principles used in the context of medical treatment decisions, particularly when a patient is unable to provide informed consent. These doctrines are applied in different situations and have distinct implications:

  1. Doctrine of Extended Consent: The doctrine of extended consent, also known as “implied consent” or “treatment in an emergency,” allows healthcare providers to proceed with medical treatment without obtaining explicit consent from the patient when it is impractical or impossible to obtain such consent. This principle is typically applied in emergency situations where immediate medical intervention is required to save a patient’s life or prevent serious harm, and the patient is unable to provide consent due to unconsciousness or incapacity.

The rationale behind this doctrine is that it is in the best interest of the patient to receive timely medical care, even without their explicit consent, as the delay in treatment could lead to severe consequences or even death. Healthcare providers must act in good faith, adhering to established medical standards and protocols when applying the doctrine of extended consent.

  1. Doctrine of Anticipation: The doctrine of anticipation, also known as “substituted judgment” or “best interest standard,” is used when making medical decisions on behalf of a patient who lacks the capacity to provide informed consent. This situation often arises when a patient is mentally incapacitated or unable to make decisions due to a medical condition or disability.

In the doctrine of anticipation, the healthcare provider or the patient’s legal representative (such as a family member or a court-appointed guardian) makes medical decisions based on what the patient would have chosen if they were capable of making their own decisions. This involves considering the patient’s previously expressed preferences, values, and beliefs to the extent possible.

The doctrine of anticipation prioritizes the patient’s best interests and seeks to make decisions that align with the patient’s known wishes or values. It is important to note that this doctrine is applied when the patient’s preferences are known, either through previous discussions or documented advance directives, such as a living will or a durable power of attorney for healthcare.

In summary, the doctrine of extended consent allows for emergency medical treatment without explicit consent when immediate action is necessary to preserve life or prevent severe harm. The doctrine of anticipation, on the other hand, guides medical decision-making on behalf of an incapacitated patient based on their known wishes or best interests. Both doctrines aim to provide appropriate medical care and protect the patient’s rights and welfare in different circumstances.