Thinking out loud

It's a common rhetorical strategy of pro-lifers to say things like, "How can you support parental consent for an appendectomy but not for an abortion?" I think this argument is particularly persuasive pursuant to its persistent "a" sounds. I've never seen any statutory requirement for appendectomy notice (I've also never checked, so I'm not denying its existence either), but I do know why one exists in the common law of Torts. The following is all based on half-remembered cases which I really should look at again before writing about. But I did well in the class, so I'll assume for now that I'm correct.

It's because medical operations in a non-emergency situation are, without consent, a tortious battery. So if only a minor were to consent to an appendectomy and then something were to go wrong, the parents will have very good grounds for a suit based on common-law battery. Even if the medical personnel being sued followed procedure perfectly and have an air-tight case that what they did wasn't malpractice under the law in that area, the lack of consent problem is fatal. And consent from a minor will not be enough in many cases, because consent from a minor is presumed to not be fully informed nor fully voluntary. This leads me to wonder if pro-life parents have ever tried to sue doctors who provided abortions to their minor children on the theory of battery and lack of consent, and since I'm sure the answer is yes, what the result of the case(s) was(were). I don't have any more of a point to this post, and will stop writing for now.

Post written in reaction to posts at Lawyers, Guns and Money and by Bitch, Ph.D., respectively. Also, the post at Lawyers, Guns and Money two down from the one linked to includes
a clever Sex Pistols reference.