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Breach of Contract, Breach of Duty

The case of Leonard, therefore, involves the issues involving informed consent and contract capacity as well breaches in expressed contracts besides a patient’s access to medical treatment. The following analysis will investigate several possible motifs of Leonard’s reasons for suing Dr. Farrah-Fowler, given various scenarios like stated refusal, further verbal interactions, and his age in a contractual capacity.

Leonard signed a letter indicating that he was willing to deny blood or any product of it and accept the associated risks. The validity of these documents is regarded as the implied contract between Leonard and Dr Farrah-Fowler. Still, an issue arises on whether intervention in surgical procedure was a breach against that expressed. The key aspects of contract law include an offer, consent, and consideration (Pietrzykowski & Smilowska 2021). Therefore, in a medical setting, a patient’s consent to treatment is equal to their acceptance of an offer made by the health care provider. The documents signed by Leonard are evidence of his unwillingness to set an obligation before Dr. Farrah-Fowler to work this way.

On the other hand, if Leonard uttered what he would do in front of Dr. Farrah-Fowler after his contracts were signed, that is, blood transfusion when required, then the accepted express contract could be modified. For the topic that written contracts are often assumed superior, oral modifications can occasionally be allowed if patients’ wishes may alter under medical treatment. The analysis would then need to establish whether the verbal communication was a proper variation of the initial contract.

Informed consent is an integral part of medical practice, and patients should be fully informed regarding the treatment to make independent choices. The signed written forms from Leonard represent his informed consent to opt against blood products. However, the complications and need for blood transfusions that question how informed consent was sought are below. Most healthcare professionals’ main course of action is communicating suggested treatments’ benefits, harms, and alternatives (Millum & Bromwich 2021). Such questions regarding medical malpractice and whether Leonard was informed enough of the risks – his deciding on no surgery is introduced by Dr Farrah-Fowler’s insistence as her husband refuses to have it.

One equally as important is Leonard’s age when he signed the hospital forms. The age aspect emerged when he was 17 years old. As a rule, minors cannot enter into contracts, and informed consent to medical treatment may be impaired. Furthermore, if Leonard had signed the forms when he was 17, there would have been some contract validity issues. Most jurisdictions have minors who do not enjoy the legal capacity to make autonomous healthcare decisions. In such matters, a contract’s enforceability would depend upon the provisions relating to minors giving consent.

Summarily, Leonard’s ability to sue Dr. Farrah-Fowler for a breach of express contract lies in the interpretation of writing forms, influence from verbal communication between parents and doctors, appropriateness about informed consent, and age during signing authority took place. The need to develop detailed legal analysis, taking into account specific laws currently applicable in some jurisdictions, is demonstrated by the situation with the application of contract law as well as medical ethics and patient rights. This setting also shows the delicate balance between a patient’s autonomy and appropriate medical care in an emergency.


Millum, J., & Bromwich, D. (2021). Informed consent: What must be disclosed and what must be understood? The American Journal of Bioethics21(5), 46-58.

Pietrzykowski, T., & Smilowska, K. (2021). The reality of informed consent: empirical studies on patient comprehension—systematic review. Trials, 22, 1-8


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