Thursday, March 09, 2006

Informed Consent

When I was in middle and high school, each year that we wanted to participate in an extracurricular athletic activity we had to watch a video explaining that we would probably die or be horribly maimed by choosing to participate. Then we had to sign a form (along with our parents) that we were aware of the risks in participating in such activities and that we willing engaged in those activities with our "informed consent."

The Deseret Morning News had this item on March 4th:
A former Alta High School cheerleader filed a lawsuit Friday in 3rd District Court, claiming Jordan School District was responsible for injuries she suffered during a practice session more than a year ago.
The varsity cheerleader was practicing with her teammates when she landed in a gap between two mats. According to court documents, she broke both ankles in the accident.
Her suit claims that the school district is responsible for the incident because it "failed to provide a safe school environment to engage in the authorized activities," court documents say.
Why do people refuse to accept the fact that life has risks? We can never make things totally safe. Even if we could make such a world, I'm sure not many would choose to live there. Schools are compelled to take the extra step to show the type of video I described above, just to help people be doubly sure they want to participate. The whole point of this extra dilligence to to insulate them from lawsuits like this one. While I feel sorry that this girl (unnamed because she is still a minor?) got hurt, but I don't think the solution is to hurt a bunch of other young people by taking money away from their schools. I hope she loses her fight and is forced to pay the legal fees of the district.

1 comment:

jay s said...

The problem is these types of agreements don't really solve the problem of protecting the youth. How many people really consider the terms? Plus the effort gone to could be directed somewhere else.

If the school is negligent, they should pay out for her meds.

Unilateral restricting of our right to recover in law is generally a bad idea.