Afshar v Chester: CA 27 May 2002

The surgeon carried out the operation successfully, but the claimant suffered consequential post operative damage. He had not been warned of the risk, and sought damages.
Held: Failure to warn of a risk did not vitiate consent, and any liability was in negligence not trespass (Chatterton) The doctor must still properly inform the patient of risks so that the patient can take an informed decision in consenting. The Chappel case was properly followed, and the doctor was liable in negligence.


Lady Justice Hale


Times 13-Jun-2002, Gazette 18-Jul-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 724, [2003] QB 356, [2002] 3 All ER 552, [2002] 3 WLR 1195, 67 BMLR 66




England and Wales


CitedChatterton v Gerson QBD 1980
The doctor failed to explain possible consequences of an operation both on a first operation, and on a subsequent corrective operation.
Held: The failure to explain the general nature of an operation negatived the patient’s consent. The doctor . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromChester v Afshar HL 14-Oct-2004
The claimant suffered back pain for which she required neurosurgery. The operation was associated with a 1-2% risk of the cauda equina syndrome, of which she was not warned. She went ahead with the surgery, and suffered that complication. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Professional Negligence, Health Professions

Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.171338