Intent In Law

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subatomic
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Intent In Law

Post by subatomic »

Let’s say a surgeon bursts into a room, grabs a dying patient and performs surgery on him without the his consent. Then after the surgery, the patient sues the surgeon, and the surgeon gets arrested for malpractice. During the trial, an argument about intent came up, and the surgeon argued that he had the intent of helping the patient, just like any other medical surgery, and the patient would have died if it wasn’t because of what he’d done. The patient argues that this was malpractice and it doesn’t matter what the surgeon says, because even though the surgeons intent be good, the surgeon still committed intentional non-consented harm on another person

So here’s the question: what are the limits to intent in the law, and should people be charged more on intent or more on consequence?

The second question is: how far does consent go? Let’s say that the patient doesn’t explicitly say that he wants the surgery, but at the end of the surgery he didn’t protest either. The surgery was successful, the patient managed to live, and the patient doesn’t seem to mind it too much. The surgeon is still arrested for malpractice and intentional harm. But it was clear that both the surgeon and the patient wanted or felt neutral about this abrupt surgery, even though there was no specific consent - so when the surgeon got arrested, it violated both of their intentions

And this raises the question about exactly how far can intent and consent go?

And - should the law be able to have the ability to violate both side’s intentions?

Especially but not limited to, contract law? Should a court be able to deem a contract useless even if both parties intentions are very clear and very certain?

And, how should we interpret one’s intent/consent?
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LuckyR
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by LuckyR »

subatomic wrote: March 28th, 2021, 2:50 am Let’s say a surgeon bursts into a room, grabs a dying patient and performs surgery on him without the his consent. Then after the surgery, the patient sues the surgeon, and the surgeon gets arrested for malpractice. During the trial, an argument about intent came up, and the surgeon argued that he had the intent of helping the patient, just like any other medical surgery, and the patient would have died if it wasn’t because of what he’d done. The patient argues that this was malpractice and it doesn’t matter what the surgeon says, because even though the surgeons intent be good, the surgeon still committed intentional non-consented harm on another person

So here’s the question: what are the limits to intent in the law, and should people be charged more on intent or more on consequence?

The second question is: how far does consent go? Let’s say that the patient doesn’t explicitly say that he wants the surgery, but at the end of the surgery he didn’t protest either. The surgery was successful, the patient managed to live, and the patient doesn’t seem to mind it too much. The surgeon is still arrested for malpractice and intentional harm. But it was clear that both the surgeon and the patient wanted or felt neutral about this abrupt surgery, even though there was no specific consent - so when the surgeon got arrested, it violated both of their intentions

And this raises the question about exactly how far can intent and consent go?

And - should the law be able to have the ability to violate both side’s intentions?

Especially but not limited to, contract law? Should a court be able to deem a contract useless even if both parties intentions are very clear and very certain?

And, how should we interpret one’s intent/consent?
Several things. This scenario has played out numerous times, so the answers are known. Your description is a bit muddled, let me clear it up a bit. First malpractice is a civil offence which results in damages paid and perhaps loss of licensure, but doesn't involve the criminal justice system, ie getting "arrested" for example. There is the criminal charge of battery, which could be brought in this scenario, but rarely is, specifically because of the issue of intent as you raised. Assuming the surgery was successful and the life was saved, some have tried to sue for "wrongful life" but that does not have a great track record as a successful legal strategy, as you can imagine it is difficult to address a jury that the plaintiff was harmed by being alive here in court.
"As usual... it depends."
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subatomic
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by subatomic »

LuckyR wrote: March 28th, 2021, 3:30 am Several things. This scenario has played out numerous times, so the answers are known. Your description is a bit muddled, let me clear it up a bit. First malpractice is a civil offence which results in damages paid and perhaps loss of licensure, but doesn't involve the criminal justice system, ie getting "arrested" for example. There is the criminal charge of battery, which could be brought in this scenario, but rarely is, specifically because of the issue of intent as you raised. Assuming the surgery was successful and the life was saved, some have tried to sue for "wrongful life" but that does not have a great track record as a successful legal strategy, as you can imagine it is difficult to address a jury that the plaintiff was harmed by being alive here in court.
What about, say, a doctor saved a patient, when the patient issued a DNR? Will that sill be difficult to sue, since the patient didn't actually want to be saved?
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by Pattern-chaser »

subatomic wrote: March 28th, 2021, 2:50 am And this raises the question about exactly how far can intent and consent go?

In theory, at least, if the law appears to have been broken, the matter is passed to the courts for consideration and judgement. This consideration would surely take into account both intent and consent, and any other consideration that is deemed relevant? So I wonder if your question, as it is phrased, even makes sense? It doesn't seem to address the law in terms of justice or fairness, but only the letter of the law, not its spirit or intent.... Perhaps I've just misunderstood, or missed other important issues that contribute to our understanding?
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Count Lucanor
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by Count Lucanor »

subatomic wrote: March 28th, 2021, 2:50 am Let’s say a surgeon bursts into a room, grabs a dying patient and performs surgery on him without the his consent. Then after the surgery, the patient sues the surgeon, and the surgeon gets arrested for malpractice. During the trial, an argument about intent came up, and the surgeon argued that he had the intent of helping the patient, just like any other medical surgery, and the patient would have died if it wasn’t because of what he’d done. The patient argues that this was malpractice and it doesn’t matter what the surgeon says, because even though the surgeons intent be good, the surgeon still committed intentional non-consented harm on another person

So here’s the question: what are the limits to intent in the law, and should people be charged more on intent or more on consequence?

The second question is: how far does consent go? Let’s say that the patient doesn’t explicitly say that he wants the surgery, but at the end of the surgery he didn’t protest either. The surgery was successful, the patient managed to live, and the patient doesn’t seem to mind it too much. The surgeon is still arrested for malpractice and intentional harm. But it was clear that both the surgeon and the patient wanted or felt neutral about this abrupt surgery, even though there was no specific consent - so when the surgeon got arrested, it violated both of their intentions

And this raises the question about exactly how far can intent and consent go?

And - should the law be able to have the ability to violate both side’s intentions?

Especially but not limited to, contract law? Should a court be able to deem a contract useless even if both parties intentions are very clear and very certain?

And, how should we interpret one’s intent/consent?
This example is missing a lot of contextual information, which would precisely be used in a trial to determine whether someone is guilty of malpractice or not.

First, let it be noticed that if a doctor is going to inject a drug in the ER, this doctor does not need your specific consent for injecting that drug or performing each medical procedure. In the context of a medical facility that treats patients, there's already a general consent that people will be treated by skilled and certified practitioners and procedures will be performed according to standards in the profession. There are some basic protocols of admittance of patients into medical facilities which imply this general consent. There are also many formalities, which involve the agreement and cooperation of all the people working in such facilities, before performing major procedures in patients. In the example above, we don't know if any of these protocols have been omitted. We don't even know if there has been negligence or bad intentions, but even more importantly, we don't know if there has been any harm to start with. A supposed lack of consent cannot be in itself considered a harm.

You should look for a better example to illustrate your point.
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by LuckyR »

subatomic wrote: March 28th, 2021, 3:40 am
LuckyR wrote: March 28th, 2021, 3:30 am Several things. This scenario has played out numerous times, so the answers are known. Your description is a bit muddled, let me clear it up a bit. First malpractice is a civil offence which results in damages paid and perhaps loss of licensure, but doesn't involve the criminal justice system, ie getting "arrested" for example. There is the criminal charge of battery, which could be brought in this scenario, but rarely is, specifically because of the issue of intent as you raised. Assuming the surgery was successful and the life was saved, some have tried to sue for "wrongful life" but that does not have a great track record as a successful legal strategy, as you can imagine it is difficult to address a jury that the plaintiff was harmed by being alive here in court.
What about, say, a doctor saved a patient, when the patient issued a DNR? Will that sill be difficult to sue, since the patient didn't actually want to be saved?
Resuscitating DNR folks happens all day, every day. It is the opposite of unusual. Typically by first responders who don't have access to or knowledge of the paperwork. No one gets sued for this. Mainly because folks (including families) dealing with end of life issues are not interested in court battles, it is literally the last thing on their minds.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by Empiricist-Bruno »

Subatomic wrote,
Especially but not limited to, contract law? Should a court be able to deem a contract useless even if both parties intentions are very clear and very certain?
If a misogynistic person finds a woman who agrees to be bruised by the misogynist in exchange for compensation and both sides are happy with their part of the deal, then do I think a court of law has the right and duty to intervene?

Yes I do, because as a civilized person you should have a right to basic personal safety and no private individual can deal that right away from you.
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by Sculptor1 »

subatomic wrote: March 28th, 2021, 2:50 am Let’s say a surgeon bursts into a room, grabs a dying patient and performs surgery on him without the his consent. Then after the surgery, the patient sues the surgeon, and the surgeon gets arrested for malpractice. During the trial, an argument about intent came up, and the surgeon argued that he had the intent of helping the patient, just like any other medical surgery, and the patient would have died if it wasn’t because of what he’d done. The patient argues that this was malpractice and it doesn’t matter what the surgeon says, because even though the surgeons intent be good, the surgeon still committed intentional non-consented harm on another person

So here’s the question: what are the limits to intent in the law, and should people be charged more on intent or more on consequence?

The second question is: how far does consent go? Let’s say that the patient doesn’t explicitly say that he wants the surgery, but at the end of the surgery he didn’t protest either. The surgery was successful, the patient managed to live, and the patient doesn’t seem to mind it too much. The surgeon is still arrested for malpractice and intentional harm. But it was clear that both the surgeon and the patient wanted or felt neutral about this abrupt surgery, even though there was no specific consent - so when the surgeon got arrested, it violated both of their intentions

And this raises the question about exactly how far can intent and consent go?

And - should the law be able to have the ability to violate both side’s intentions?

Especially but not limited to, contract law? Should a court be able to deem a contract useless even if both parties intentions are very clear and very certain?

And, how should we interpret one’s intent/consent?
The surgeon is guilty of assault.
There is no question an the understanding of his intent can be used in mitigation of sentence, but does not alter his guilt.
Such a surgeon would neve be allowed to practice medicine again.
A surgeon takes an oath to do no harm. This does not imply the right to practice without limits.
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by Sculptor1 »

LuckyR wrote: March 28th, 2021, 3:30 am
subatomic wrote: March 28th, 2021, 2:50 am Let’s say a surgeon bursts into a room, grabs a dying patient and performs surgery on him without the his consent. Then after the surgery, the patient sues the surgeon, and the surgeon gets arrested for malpractice. During the trial, an argument about intent came up, and the surgeon argued that he had the intent of helping the patient, just like any other medical surgery, and the patient would have died if it wasn’t because of what he’d done. The patient argues that this was malpractice and it doesn’t matter what the surgeon says, because even though the surgeons intent be good, the surgeon still committed intentional non-consented harm on another person

So here’s the question: what are the limits to intent in the law, and should people be charged more on intent or more on consequence?

The second question is: how far does consent go? Let’s say that the patient doesn’t explicitly say that he wants the surgery, but at the end of the surgery he didn’t protest either. The surgery was successful, the patient managed to live, and the patient doesn’t seem to mind it too much. The surgeon is still arrested for malpractice and intentional harm. But it was clear that both the surgeon and the patient wanted or felt neutral about this abrupt surgery, even though there was no specific consent - so when the surgeon got arrested, it violated both of their intentions

And this raises the question about exactly how far can intent and consent go?

And - should the law be able to have the ability to violate both side’s intentions?

Especially but not limited to, contract law? Should a court be able to deem a contract useless even if both parties intentions are very clear and very certain?

And, how should we interpret one’s intent/consent?
Several things. This scenario has played out numerous times, so the answers are known. Your description is a bit muddled, let me clear it up a bit. First malpractice is a civil offence which results in damages paid and perhaps loss of licensure, but doesn't involve the criminal justice system, ie getting "arrested" for example. There is the criminal charge of battery, which could be brought in this scenario, but rarely is, specifically because of the issue of intent as you raised. Assuming the surgery was successful and the life was saved, some have tried to sue for "wrongful life" but that does not have a great track record as a successful legal strategy, as you can imagine it is difficult to address a jury that the plaintiff was harmed by being alive here in court.
I think you are dead wrong.
In order the do surgery on a person you would have to subdue, anesthetise and mutilate the body.
This practice would involve several capital crimes. Illegal imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon.
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LuckyR
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by LuckyR »

Sculptor1 wrote: March 28th, 2021, 6:44 pm
LuckyR wrote: March 28th, 2021, 3:30 am
subatomic wrote: March 28th, 2021, 2:50 am Let’s say a surgeon bursts into a room, grabs a dying patient and performs surgery on him without the his consent. Then after the surgery, the patient sues the surgeon, and the surgeon gets arrested for malpractice. During the trial, an argument about intent came up, and the surgeon argued that he had the intent of helping the patient, just like any other medical surgery, and the patient would have died if it wasn’t because of what he’d done. The patient argues that this was malpractice and it doesn’t matter what the surgeon says, because even though the surgeons intent be good, the surgeon still committed intentional non-consented harm on another person

So here’s the question: what are the limits to intent in the law, and should people be charged more on intent or more on consequence?

The second question is: how far does consent go? Let’s say that the patient doesn’t explicitly say that he wants the surgery, but at the end of the surgery he didn’t protest either. The surgery was successful, the patient managed to live, and the patient doesn’t seem to mind it too much. The surgeon is still arrested for malpractice and intentional harm. But it was clear that both the surgeon and the patient wanted or felt neutral about this abrupt surgery, even though there was no specific consent - so when the surgeon got arrested, it violated both of their intentions

And this raises the question about exactly how far can intent and consent go?

And - should the law be able to have the ability to violate both side’s intentions?

Especially but not limited to, contract law? Should a court be able to deem a contract useless even if both parties intentions are very clear and very certain?

And, how should we interpret one’s intent/consent?
Several things. This scenario has played out numerous times, so the answers are known. Your description is a bit muddled, let me clear it up a bit. First malpractice is a civil offence which results in damages paid and perhaps loss of licensure, but doesn't involve the criminal justice system, ie getting "arrested" for example. There is the criminal charge of battery, which could be brought in this scenario, but rarely is, specifically because of the issue of intent as you raised. Assuming the surgery was successful and the life was saved, some have tried to sue for "wrongful life" but that does not have a great track record as a successful legal strategy, as you can imagine it is difficult to address a jury that the plaintiff was harmed by being alive here in court.
I think you are dead wrong.
In order the do surgery on a person you would have to subdue, anesthetise and mutilate the body.
This practice would involve several capital crimes. Illegal imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon.
Well, lack of consent from a practical standpoint is a paperwork issue, for example the consent form was incomplete or lost, thus the charge of battery. In other words the patient wanted surgery but perhaps was incompetent to provide consent, or the surgeon's staff printed out the wrong consent form. No one "bursts into a room, grabs a patient and performs surgery". If you disagree, you need to change health care providers immediately.
"As usual... it depends."
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Sculptor1
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by Sculptor1 »

LuckyR wrote: March 29th, 2021, 2:59 am
Sculptor1 wrote: March 28th, 2021, 6:44 pm
LuckyR wrote: March 28th, 2021, 3:30 am
subatomic wrote: March 28th, 2021, 2:50 am Let’s say a surgeon bursts into a room, grabs a dying patient and performs surgery on him without the his consent. Then after the surgery, the patient sues the surgeon, and the surgeon gets arrested for malpractice. During the trial, an argument about intent came up, and the surgeon argued that he had the intent of helping the patient, just like any other medical surgery, and the patient would have died if it wasn’t because of what he’d done. The patient argues that this was malpractice and it doesn’t matter what the surgeon says, because even though the surgeons intent be good, the surgeon still committed intentional non-consented harm on another person

So here’s the question: what are the limits to intent in the law, and should people be charged more on intent or more on consequence?

The second question is: how far does consent go? Let’s say that the patient doesn’t explicitly say that he wants the surgery, but at the end of the surgery he didn’t protest either. The surgery was successful, the patient managed to live, and the patient doesn’t seem to mind it too much. The surgeon is still arrested for malpractice and intentional harm. But it was clear that both the surgeon and the patient wanted or felt neutral about this abrupt surgery, even though there was no specific consent - so when the surgeon got arrested, it violated both of their intentions

And this raises the question about exactly how far can intent and consent go?

And - should the law be able to have the ability to violate both side’s intentions?

Especially but not limited to, contract law? Should a court be able to deem a contract useless even if both parties intentions are very clear and very certain?

And, how should we interpret one’s intent/consent?
Several things. This scenario has played out numerous times, so the answers are known. Your description is a bit muddled, let me clear it up a bit. First malpractice is a civil offence which results in damages paid and perhaps loss of licensure, but doesn't involve the criminal justice system, ie getting "arrested" for example. There is the criminal charge of battery, which could be brought in this scenario, but rarely is, specifically because of the issue of intent as you raised. Assuming the surgery was successful and the life was saved, some have tried to sue for "wrongful life" but that does not have a great track record as a successful legal strategy, as you can imagine it is difficult to address a jury that the plaintiff was harmed by being alive here in court.
I think you are dead wrong.
In order the do surgery on a person you would have to subdue, anesthetise and mutilate the body.
This practice would involve several capital crimes. Illegal imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon.
Well, lack of consent from a practical standpoint is a paperwork issue, for example the consent form was incomplete or lost, thus the charge of battery. In other words the patient wanted surgery but perhaps was incompetent to provide consent, or the surgeon's staff printed out the wrong consent form. No one "bursts into a room, grabs a patient and performs surgery". If you disagree, you need to change health care providers immediately.
"A surgeon bursts in to a room.....

No consent given or implied. I'm going on the example offered here.
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by RexArthur »

In the case of the surgeon, the question becomes "Should we help the helpless?" Of course we should, if we can. In the case of the surgeon, he could and he did. The "victim" should be rewarding him. Suppose the patient had died in spite of intervention, the preintervention outcome would be realized. The victim's family should then thank the doctor for the effort.

Intent has always been a major part of the law though it is subject to subjective interpretation by whomever makes the judgement. Additionally, consequence has always contributed to judgement.

What about intervention by the inept with good intent? Unintended damage may result. Still, is this criminal or civil? I would say a civil lawsuit would be in order but, because of intent, no criminal action which might result in unintended consequences for society.

An additional question would be, what is the source of intent? Possibly learned such as though religion. Possibly instinctive such as a mother protecting her child.

Or, intent could be on the dark side, such as the intent to succeed at whatever the cost to others. Here again, intent should also matter and factor into the judgement. I suspect the intent of the surgeon's "victim" may lay in this realm.
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by LuckyR »

RexArthur wrote: March 29th, 2021, 12:59 pm In the case of the surgeon, the question becomes "Should we help the helpless?" Of course we should, if we can. In the case of the surgeon, he could and he did. The "victim" should be rewarding him. Suppose the patient had died in spite of intervention, the preintervention outcome would be realized. The victim's family should then thank the doctor for the effort.

Intent has always been a major part of the law though it is subject to subjective interpretation by whomever makes the judgement. Additionally, consequence has always contributed to judgement.

What about intervention by the inept with good intent? Unintended damage may result. Still, is this criminal or civil? I would say a civil lawsuit would be in order but, because of intent, no criminal action which might result in unintended consequences for society.

An additional question would be, what is the source of intent? Possibly learned such as though religion. Possibly instinctive such as a mother protecting her child.

Or, intent could be on the dark side, such as the intent to succeed at whatever the cost to others. Here again, intent should also matter and factor into the judgement. I suspect the intent of the surgeon's "victim" may lay in this realm.
Huh? You are familiar with patient autonomy, right? You're focusing on the wrong person, it's not about the surgeon, it's about the patient. If your surgeon thinks you "need" surgery, it doesn't matter until the patient agrees they need it. Similarly if a car salesman thinks you "need" a new car, he shouldn't withdraw money from your bank account and drop off a car at your house, you get to decide.

As far as your "neutral" about surgery fantasy, you clearly don't understand how consent for surgery works. No surgery happens without legal (in this case medicolegal) paperwork. If you sign the correct forms it doesn't matter what you "say" afterwards, you consented to the surgery you received, end of story.
"As usual... it depends."
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RexArthur
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by RexArthur »

And clearly you don't understand surgery. You assume that a drugged up patient would be able to make a rational decision. Welcome to the real world. As for equating a surgeon to a car salesman, another indication of a a flawed reality but this time it's neither the surgeon nor patient.

And an added question, Did the patient speak up and stop the procedure before it began? Why not? Could it be the patient was comatose after a car accident?

Yeah, it depends, but not on the usual but on the context.
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LuckyR
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Re: Intent In Law

Post by LuckyR »

RexArthur wrote: March 31st, 2021, 8:37 pm And clearly you don't understand surgery. You assume that a drugged up patient would be able to make a rational decision. Welcome to the real world. As for equating a surgeon to a car salesman, another indication of a a flawed reality but this time it's neither the surgeon nor patient.

And an added question, Did the patient speak up and stop the procedure before it began? Why not? Could it be the patient was comatose after a car accident?

Yeah, it depends, but not on the usual but on the context.
I'd be happy to compare decades of performing surgery with you, son.

As to your additional question, you tell me. We're all trying to tread between your supposings and reality.
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