Publication Date


Document Type



In Young v. Yarn, the Georgia Court of Appeals interpreted the Georgia Medical Consent Law as not requiring a physician to warn a patient of the known risks of elective surgery for the patient's consent to be valid. The court thus decided that the doctrine of informed consent does not exist in Georgia as between patient and physician.

The plaintiff, Mrs. Maxine Young, engaged the defendant, Dr. Charles P. Yarn, a specialist in plastic and reconstructive surgery, to perform a meloplasty (facelift). While the defendant did render a general explanation of the procedures involved, he did not advise her of the possibility of hypertrophic scarring; instead, he encouraged her to undergo the surgical process which resulted in the permanent disfigurement of her face., Dr. Yarn later testified that he was aware of the risks of hypertrophic scarring associated with this type of surgical procedure, but the chance of such scarring occurring in this procedure was assessed by him to be about one-half of one percent. Other expert testimony, however, indicated that hypertrophic scarring could be expected to occur to some degree in approximately ten percent of those cases wherein a meloplasty is performed.