The concept of ‘informed consent’ is important in the context of medical malpractice cases. Whether the doctor has received an informed consent from the patient prior to a treatment has a strong bearing on a malpractice case. If a patient has not given an informed consent to a treatment that resulted in an injury, the doctor can be sued in the court.
In this article, we will explain what is meant by informed consent, and what are the legal options in case of injuries due to lack of informed consent.
Informed Consent: What Does It Mean?
The exact definition of informed consent in the context of medical malpractice differs from state to state. A doctor is legally required to obtain a written consent from the patient before performing a medical procedure that involves serious risks. This process of obtaining consent from the patient is known as informed consent.
However, signing a form alone does not constitute an informed consent. The doctor must inform the patient about all the potential benefits and risks, as well as alternatives to a particular medical treatment.
What InformationShould be Disclosed to the Patient?
The patient must fully understand the risks and benefits before undergoing a treatment. A doctor will be held legally liable if a patient is not informed of the risks. Here are some of the information that a doctor should discuss with the patient.
- The purpose and the nature of the treatment
- The risks and benefits of the treatment
- Alternative procedures to treat the condition
- The benefits and risks of the alternate procedures
- The benefits and risks of not undergoing any medical procedure
Exceptions to the Disclosure Requirementsregarding Informed Consent
Remember that informed consent is not required in certain situations. Two particular situations in which an informed consent is not required include the following.
When it comes to medical emergencies, the doctors must act quickly to save the life of an individual. Usually, there is no time to discuss all the risks with the patient. In such a case, the doctor will not be held liable for medical malpractice due to lack of informed consent.
Another situation in which an informed consent may not be required is when a patient is too distraught regarding a procedure for treating a life-threatening disease. For instance, an informed consent may not be required if a patient suffers from a life-threatening brain tumor and the treatment involves frightening risks such as loss of motor functions. In such a case, the doctor can be vague when describing the risks.
A doctor must have a clear reason for not disclosing any information. Without a clear reason, a doctor will be held liable for medical malpractice for lack of informed consent.
You should contact RRohdeLaw.com by dialing 626-593-5786 to get in touch with a personal injury attorney in California. We have experienced personal injury lawyers who are skilled in handling medical malpractice cases involving lack of informed consent. They can help you in getting the maximum possible compensation for injuries sustained due to medical malpractice.