In 2000 I had surgery. I had three wisdom teeth out in hospital. Two weeks before it I saw the surgeon. He handed me a form to fill out. It had about 50 checkboxes. Did I have AIDS, hepatitis or heamophilia? Was I a drug user? Had I ever had cancer? Was I an alcoholic? I ticked all 50 as "no" and signed the form. It said above the signature:

"You are legally liable for your answers. Any false information by act or omission may result in criminal prosecution or other penalties".

So afterwards I wondered what if someone did lie? Suppose that you had HIV AIDS and you lied on the form. Then the surgeon who did your procedure got AIDS from you. I imagine that he or she would have a civil suit. But for being charged with something: attempted murder? I am in the Australian legal system. So I don't understand the American system with felonies. But it might be some type of felony.

Another aspect is say you lie on the form and then you wake from the surgery paralysed permanently. You go to a lawyer and say "I'd like a civil suit against the surgeon". I imagine that if you have lied the lawyer might say "sorry, you have no rights to a civil suit or compensation; you forfeited such rights when you lied".

It's pretty disconcerting how much trouble you could get into. It's a big deal to sign a pre-surgery form.

  • Are you asking about the US or Australian law? Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 9:02
  • I am happy for either. Yes I know that will get this question closed. So I have to toss a coin and pick one? Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 9:04
  • 1
    Not at all, its just useful to know. "Either" is perfectly acceptable. law.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/308/… Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 9:16
  • I am happy for either because I will get something out of any answer. I genuiely have no idea what the answer is. Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 9:17
  • Few days ago I had to sign that I had never had an allergic reaction against X. So what do you think would happen if I lied, and had an allergic reaction again?
    – gnasher729
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


Insurance fraud

But not for the medical part of the form.

Almost all procedures in Australia involve some type of insurance (Medicare, private, workers comp. etc.) - the notice is about the part of the form where you are authorizing payment.

  • That is interesting; that is not the charge that I was thinking of! Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 12:06

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