Lack Of Informed Consent
Whether you suffer from a chronic medical condition or an acute injury or illness requiring surgery, your doctor is the person in whom you place your trust. Doctors are supposed to not only do everything they can to heal your body, but also inform you of why and how they plan to do it. It is your right as the patient to know exactly what is going on at all times, from serious conditions like heart problems that sometimes require surgery and medication, to simple issues like stitches for a deep wound.
Doctors are required by law to receive your consent before they perform any type of treatment. Without obtaining your consent, or without explaining all of the risks before you submit to a treatment, your doctor may very well be liable for malpractice should any unexpected negative results occur.
The Range of Consent Formalities
To give your consent for any procedure, large or small, you must be provided with a list of the possible risks of the procedure and it must be documented in writing that all of them were explained to you thoroughly before undergoing treatment. Your signature proves that you chose to undergo treatment, despite the risks, for the good of your overall health. You must also be allowed the time to carefully consider the risks and benefits of the procedure, and discuss it with your family, before making a decision.
Certain additional information must be provided before written consent can be given. You must also be informed of why the doctor is choosing this particular procedure, what his or her qualifications are to perform it, the final goal of the procedure, likelihood for success, anticipated recovery time, alternative procedure options and their risks, your personal medical condition, and the total cost after health insurance coverage.
A doctor is not allowed to perform any other procedures you did not fully consent to except in cases of emergency where your wellbeing is at risk, such as unforeseen complications during surgery.
If you are unconscious, there are certain times a guardian may provide consent for a procedure. This is also typically the case regarding patients who have mental disabilities which inhibit them from offering legal consent.
Sometimes, a doctor can ask a court to name a guardian or guardian ad litem (someone chosen to make specific choices regarding consent) if a patient is unable to offer it themselves.
Making A Case
In medical malpractice suits regarding lack of informed consent, there must be proof you, as the patient, were not properly informed of the details or the risks involved before a procedure was performed.
If you are the victim of a procedure that left you in constant pain, with a chronic condition, or that had unforeseen consequences you were not properly informed may occur, you may have a right to compensation. The lawyers at Shea Law Group have the experience required to win malpractice suits, and we don’t collect unless you do. Call us today at 1-877-365-0040, to receive a free initial consultation.