In many instances where medical care or treatment is being provided to an individual, health care professionals are required to obtain the patient's "informed consent." Although the precise definition of informed consent may vary from state to state, the term essentially means that the patient has made a knowing decision about a surgical procedure after a doctor or other health care professional provides the patient with all information a reasonably prudent medical provider would give to patients regarding the risks associated with the proposed procedure. Patients may sue for the lack of informed consent when they have not been made aware of risks associated with their proposed procedure. To recover on this theory, patients must also prove that post-surgery, they suffer from one of the unexplained risks.
Driver fatigue is a primary cause of trucking accidents. Nevertheless, in December, truck safety advocates asked a federal court to block a ruling by the Transportation Department that permits commercial truckers to work longer hours. The Bush Administration had increased the number of hours, from 10 to11, that truck drivers could work without a break. Drivers are also allowed to drive up to 70 hours a week.