There are always some risks and potential side effects involved with surgeries and other medical procedures. Therefore, a doctor will need to get informed consent from their patients before starting any procedure. In addition, a patient that becomes injured during the surgery might have grounds to sue for malpractice if they didn’t have informed consent, even if the resulting injury is a standard risk of performing the surgery or procedure. If you’ve suffered due to a medical professional’s negligence or recklessness, consider contacting a personal injury attorney.
A patient must understand all of the important details about the treatment, including the known risk, for the consent to be considered informed.
What is Informed Consent?
Only having a signature on a form is not considered informed consent. Before a doctor can begin a medical procedure, the patient must have a complete understanding of the service, treatment, or care that the doctor will offer.
The doctor must tell the patient:
- The details of the procedure
- The risks involved
- Any alternative options
The patient will then have the right to refuse the procedure or consent to it after receiving all the required information and have a complete understanding of the benefits and risks of having the surgery.
What Risks Does A Doctor Need To Disclose?
As discussed, a doctor has to inform the patient of the risks involved during a procedure. However, two situations need to be determined before a personal injury attorney can determine whether or not a doctor has a duty to disclose, those situations are: If another doctor in a similar situation would have considered it important enough to disclose the risks, and, if they knew about the risks involved, would the patient still have gone forward with the procedure.
Your personal injury attorney, in most cases, if not all, will need to get an expert witness to testify and state that the risks were important enough to disclose by most doctors in similar circumstances, and if it was a departure from the accepted standards of practice if it was a failure to disclose.
Are There Any Circumstances When a Doctor is Not Required to Disclose a Risk?
If there is no time to disclose the risks involved because of a medical emergency, the doctor needs to quickly save the patient’s life. In this situation, the patient can’t sue for lack of informed consent even if they wouldn’t have allowed the treatment.
Is a Violation of Consent A Case for a Lawsuit?
The patient needs to prove the doctor or hospital caused harm to sue for medical malpractice and prove that harm was a direct result of the consent violation. There would be no case if no harm resulted from the breach of consent.