How Important Is Informed Consent?

When a doctor proposes a treatment or procedure for a patient, it is because the procedure will most likely improve or benefit the patient’s health in some way. Along with the desired benefits, however, the medical procedure is likely to pose certain risks as well. The doctor has the responsibility to provide all the necessary information regarding the known risks and benefits to the patient prior to performing any procedures. This allows the patient to give informed consent to have the procedure done.

The Importance of Informed Consent

The process of informed consent provides protection to both the patient and the doctor. The patient is made fully aware of any risks associated with a procedure so that a decision can be made whether or not to move forward with the treatment despite the risks. Informed consent from the patient plays a protective role in malpractice cases for the doctor. If complications develop as a result of the procedure, the doctor can prove that the patient was aware of the risks before the procedure took place.

Official Informed Consent

For informed consent to be official, the doctor and patient must have a face-to-face discussion of the risks involved prior to beginning the procedure. The patient must demonstrate that the risk were discussed with medical staff and were understood. By signing a consent form, the patient acknowledges that the risks exist but that the patient is opting for the procedure anyway.

The Lack of Informed Consent

Failing to obtain informed consent from a patient prior to a procedure can set the foundation for a negligence case. If informed consent was not given and a procedure performed, the patient may have grounds for a malpractice case if:

  • The procedure was completely unauthorized
  • The doctor neglected to inform the patient of common risks associated with the procedure
  • The patient would have opted against the procedure had all the known risks had been disclosed prior to the procedure

Filing a Malpractice Claim

Without the adequate disclosure of information regarding a procedure, the patient cannot be expected to make an informed decision. In many cases, only the doctor knows what information needs to be discussed and which is insignificant. Failure to mention risks before a procedure can indicate that medical negligence occurred.

If you were not appropriately informed to the risks involved with a medical procedure, contact Jacobs Law, LLC to discuss the details of your case. Proficient in malpractice law, the attorneys at Jacobs Law will work to secure you the compensation to which you may be entitled. Call us today or fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you right away. If you have suffered from malpractice, you have come to the right place.

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