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Informed consent prior to massage therapy (06HDC12937)

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(06HDC12937, 21 June 2007)

Massage therapist ~ Massage ~ Informed consent ~ Rights 4(2), 6(2), 7(1)

A woman complained about the appropriateness of the therapeutic massage provided by a massage therapist. She alleged that he massaged her breasts, stomach and buttocks, without obtaining her consent. The massage therapist denied this.

It was held that, prior to the massage, the therapist should have provided the woman with information concerning his lack of experience and qualification in massage; information on treatment options available; and an explanation of the massage that would be done and why. He should have obtained her full consent for treatment.

By providing a standard of service that did not comply with professional standards the massage therapist breached Right 4(2). By not providing the woman with sufficient information to consent to the treatment he breached 6(2), and by proceeding with the massage without having obtained fully informed consent, he breached Right 7(1).


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