Case 94-19685

Cass Civ I, n°94-19685, 25 February 1997
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After a colonoscopy, a patient suffered from  intestinal perforation. The patient sued the doctor for not having provided information on the possible risks of the surgery to him prior to the surgery.

The Court of Appeal held that the patient had the burden to prove that the doctor had breached his duty to inform, and that the patient had not brought evidence proving the doctor had breached his duty to inform his patient. The patient appealed to the Court of Cassation.

The Court of Cassation held that the doctor has the burden of proving that he has fulfilled his duty to inform and remanded the case back to the lower court, where the doctor had to establish that he had not breached his duty to inform the patient about the potential risks.

“The doctor has a special obligation of informing his patient and he has to prove that he fulfilled this obligation.”

« Le médecin est tenu d'une obligation particulière d'information vis-à-vis de son patient et qu'il lui incombe de prouver qu'il a exécuté cette obligation. »