Where is the fair-minded risk-to-knowledge analysis in the panel’s deliberations or its conclusion? A patient has a right to determine what shall be done to his or her body, as well as what shall not be done to it.
The freedom I claim is implied in an extract of the decision by Justice Sydney Robins in an Ontario Court of Appeal case, Fleming v Reid,2 quoted in a publication of the Canadian Medical Protective Association.3 There, Justice Robins said:
The right to determine what shall, or shall not, be done with one’s own body, and to be free from non-consensual medical treatment, is a right deeply rooted in our common law. This right underlines the doctrine of informed consent. With very limited exceptions, every person’s body is considered inviolate, and, accordingly, every competent adult has the right to be free from unwanted medical treatment. The fact that serious risks or consequences may result from a refusal of medical treatment does not vitiate the right of medical self-determination. The doctrine of informed consent ensures the freedom of individuals to make choices about their medical care. It is the patient, not the physician, who ultimately must decide if treatment — any treatment — is to be administered.