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Understanding consent in medical malpractice claims

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Navigating medical malpractice complexities can be overwhelming. One common concern involves issues of consent. In order to evaluate whether you were able to give informed consent, it’s important to have a well-rounded understanding of the topic.

What is informed consent?

Informed consent is the process of a healthcare provider educating a patient about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a proposed procedure or intervention. The patient must then voluntarily agree, having understood the potential risks and benefits. If the patient does not feel they understand the potential risks and benefits, they should have the opportunity to ask follow-up questions.

When does lack of consent lead to malpractice?

There are some examples of consent violation as a form of medical malpractice:

  1. Procedure without consent: Performing a procedure without the patient’s consent is a violation. The only exception is an emergency where immediate action is necessary.
  2. Misinformation: Providing misleading or incomplete information that affects the patient’s decision-making ability.
  3. Understanding risks: Failing to thoroughly explain the risks involved in a procedure can lead to issues. One example of this is glossing over rare, but possible, complications.

Steps to take if you suspect a consent violation

If you suspect there has been a consent violation in your medical treatment, it’s important to document everything. If you have communication with a healthcare provider that is not in writing, try to take notes as soon as possible.

Another step you can take if you suspect a consent violation is to speak with a lawyer who understands medical malpractice to determine if you have a viable claim.

Looking to the future

Knowing your rights regarding informed consent is a way to protect yourself against medical negligence. Understanding what proper consent involves can help you navigate healthcare complexities. It can also help you figure out the next steps when you have had a bad experience with a healthcare professional.