Shine v. Vega

Procedural History

– Trial court was in favor of Doctor Vega (Defendant).
– Appellate court reversed and remanded.


–          Catherine Shine was incubated against her will. She did not consent to it, and the defendant said that he had to do it because it was an emergency situation. She was restrained, held down, and against her will incubated…Two years later she died because of her fear of hospitals and her father brought action against Dr. Vega.

–          Doctor said that it was an emergency situation where the patient was delusional and had to make her be incubated.

–          Patient said that she was informed and insisted upon not being incubated.


Was the emergency situation legit enough to warrant an override of the patients consent?




– Exception for emergency to override consent: patient is unconscious or otherwise incapable of consenting and harm from failure to treat is imminent and failure to treat outweighs any harm threatened.

Courts Reasoning

–          The exception does not, and cannot override the refusal of treatment by a patient who is capable of providing consent.

–          In determining whether an emergency situation existed sufficient to insulate Vega, the jury should have been required to decide whether Catherine was capable of consenting to treatment, and if not, consent of a family member could have been given.


Remanded to trial court for finding on whether or not the situation was an emergency, enough, to warrant the Doctor overriding the patients consent.

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