Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Regarding Informed ConsentDo I have a medical malpractice lawsuit regarding informed consent? The reason you are asking this question is probably because you were injured by some kind of medical treatment, test or procedure, and you do not believe you were clearly informed concerning possible risks, failure or complications that could result from that treatment, test or procedure.
Most people trust that their doctor knows what is best for them in regard to their medical health. However, when it comes to any kind of medical treatment, test or procedure, you have the final say.
What this means is you have a right to all of the information regarding any treatment, test or procedure before you undergo it. This means that you understand what is involved, what will be done, what could go wrong and possible risks and complications.
This involves several steps, and there are times when a doctor may miss a step or two. If you believe this has happened to you, what can you do?
According to the dictionary, consent means giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something. In law, consent is voluntary agreement with an action that is proposed by someone else.
In regard to medicine, simply put, consent means that your doctor gives you information about a treatment, test or procedure, and you agree to it. You can give your consent verbally or by an act that demonstrates consent, such as nodding your head.
However, nearly every state has laws regarding consent when it comes to something medical. In many of these states, you have to give written consent before undergoing most treatments, tests or procedures.
What this means is giving verbal consent or signing your name on a form is not enough. You have to give what is known as informed consent.
Informed consent involves several things. These include you clearly understanding:
Your medical condition
What is going to be done
What could go wrong
The purpose of the proposed treatment, test, procedure or surgery
The chances of success or failure
The name of the doctor performing the procedure and their qualifications
Any alternative procedures or treatments and the risks involved
The expected recovery time
The approximate cost of the procedure and whether your health insurance will probably cover it.
In addition, informed consent also involves you having the right to ask your doctor questions about the proposed treatment, test or procedure, and being able to talk things over with your family if you want to.
The extent of informed consent means your doctor is not allowed to do more than you have consented to. Obviously, if something unexpected happens or your health is at risk, your doctor may take reasonable actions. However, if there is not an emergency or medical necessity, your doctor cannot assume you would have given consent to an additional or different treatment, test or procedure.
Again, if you believe you were injured by some kind of medical treatment, test or procedure because you were not clearly informed by your doctor, the right thing to do is to contact a personal injury attorney and have your case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.
Article written by James Shugart
Connect with James on Google+