Autonomy and Informed Consent in the Patients who Attempted Suicide
With medico-legal aspect, even though the patient attempted suicide, the patient legally has the right to refuse any treatment, and the physi- cian can respect the patient's refusal. When adverse effects occur as a result of medical treatment performed forcefully without a patient's consent. In that case, the doctor can be held liable for the adverse effect.
The Korean Supreme Court held that the physician should forcefully perform invasive medical treatment such as gastric lavage in acutely intoxicated patient if it can be a matter of life or death for the patient. The doctor was held negligent in failing to perform an act which he/she had a duty to perform. And in that case the physicians should consider the patient mentally competency.
In summary, the physician can be held responsible for any damage
occurred as a result of the failure to perform a medical procedure that is necessary for the patient such as omission. And he/she also can be sued for death or any clinical deterioration resulted from the lack of treatment or ineffective treatment.