Ollosson v Lee [2019] EWHC 784 (QB) (29 March 2019)

On 15 November 2012 C underwent a vasectomy carried out by D… a general practitioner specialist in vasectomy. As a result of the vasectomy C suffers from chronic scrotal pain, a recognised complication of the vasectomy procedure. [1]

The particulars of negligence are… as follows:

“i) failing to provide C, an intelligent man attending for an elective procedure, with the appropriate information about the risks associated with the proposed procedure, such that he could provide properly informed consent to the same;

ii) failing to advise C sufficiently, adequately or at all as to the specific known risks… ;

iii) failing to ensure that, before offering, as a purported specialist, vasectomy, that he ensured he was fully informed about the associated risks, such that he was able to ensure that patients could be adequately and properly advised about the attendant risks …” [3]

In summary there are three matters in dispute namely:

a) what information was given to C relating to the risk of chronic testicular pain before he underwent the vasectomy;

b) was the extent of the information provided regarding the risk adequate for C’s informed consent to the vasectomy?

c) if there was a breach of duty, would C have decided not to undergo the vasectomy had adequate information been given to him. [5]

The… claim must fail. On the balance of probabilities he was adequately informed by being told of a small risk of chronic pain, and of the range of severity and possible effect on lifestyle if it did materialise. [157]