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Demay v. Roberts Case Brief

Summary of Demay v. Roberts, S. Ct. Michigan, 1881

Facts: The PL was a poor married woman confined to a bed.  The def doctor visited the PL at her home to administer medicine and attention.  He brought with him Scattergood to assist him b/c the doctor was feeling ill.  The PL believed that the assistant was an assistant physician when he was merely a layperson.  The DF Scattergood did take liberty of the PL’s condition and his position had indecently laid his hands upon her.

Issue: Whether consent given to the doctor to professionally perform extends to a third person introduced by the doctor?

Holding: No.

Procedure: Trial ct. found for the PL.  Affirmed.

Rule:  No person has the right to intrude upon a person’s privacy or person, unless invited, (without deceit), or b/c some real or pressing necessity exists.

Ct. Rationale: The doctor was within sight and at least hearing distance of the act committed by Scattergood upon the PL. The Dr. knew he was not a physician and allowed him to continue unchallenged.  Both the Dr. and Scattergood are guilty of deceit, which negates the consent given for the examination and treatment.

PL A: The DF led PL to believe his assistant was a physician and the act was in line with treatment, when neither was true.

Def A: PL granted consent for the treatment, she knew the DF Dr. was under the weather and had to utilize and assistant for the treatment.

Vitiated: corrupted, tainted, no longer valid.




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