A physical examination of a patient cannot be made or an operation done, lawfully, without authority. Authority is necessary, too, before a physician can lawfully apply to a patient any prophylactic, diagnostic or therapeutic agent, such as a vaccine, a splint, roentgen rays, or an anesthetic or any other drug. A person who does any of these acts without authority commits a battery or a trepass, or both, for which, according to the circumstances of the case, he may be fined or imprisoned or made to pay damages.1 Even after the death of a patient his right to freedom from interference automatically passes in a modified form to his spouse or to his next of kin, and any unauthorized interference with his dead body exposes the offender to a suit for damages by the person entitled to its custody.2 My purpose in this paper is to show, so
WOODWARD WC. AUTHORIZATION OF PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS, TREATMENT, OPERATIONS AND AUTOPSIES. JAMA. 1936;106(1):40. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770010003045
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