After a physician performed surgery on a patient’s left ear, he performed surgery on the patient’s right ear, even though he had received her consent only to operate on her left ear. The extension of the operation was not due to an emergency, and the applicable jurisdiction permitted the extension of operations only in emergency situations. The patient did not suffer any harm.
If the patient subsequently brings an action against the physician, will the patient recover?
No, because the operation resulted in no harm.
No, because the patient’s consent to surgery on her left ear allows the physician to extend the surgery according to his sound professional judgment.
Yes, the patient will recover at least nominal damages on a battery theory.
Yes, the patient will recover at least nominal damages on a negligence theory.
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