As a patient you have the right to be fully informed by your primary health care provider about any treatments or surgeries that he or she recommends. It is the legal responsibility of your physician to obtain your informed consent. If your doctor does not obtain your informed consent prior to any procedures and you have suffered adverse consequences, you may have the right to sue for damages resulting from medical malpractice. For an informed consent to be given, you must be provided with sufficient information regarding the procedure to make an educated decision. This information must include:
• What the treatment is intended to accomplish
• Benefits and risks associated with the treatment
• What alternative treatments are available?
There are two forms of informed consent: express consent and implied consent. Express consent is when the patient’s consent is given either in written form or verbally. Written express consents should have:
• The physician’s name who discussed the treatment plan with the patient
• The name of the physician who will perform the tests or procedure
• The date and time the consent form was signed, along with the location of signing
Implied consent is not given in written form or verbally. Implied consent arises when a health care provider performs necessary diagnostic tests or procedures that are part of medical treatment the patient has expressly consented to.
The informed consent is required before your doctor performs diagnostic tests or invasive treatment. Legally an informed consent is only valid for a specified period of time.
Once you have given informed consent, the physician is legally and ethically required to proceed. You have the option of withdrawing your consent at any time.
You have the additional right to refuse any treatment offered. Your refusal can be based on any personal reason, including religion. Once you have given informed refusal, the health care provider must ensure that you fully understand any possible consequences which may occur because you declined a recommended treatment. The doctor cannot, however, use coercion or deception to change your mind.
You are entitled to take time to consider your decision for an informed consent or refusal fully.
Although as a patient you are permitted to either consent to or refuse treatment, you cannot demand receive tests or treatment your physician deems unnecessary or unsafe.
You, as a patient, have responsibilities as well regarding informed consents or refusals. It is mandatory you listen carefully to your physician as he or she explains the recommended health care plan and, if you do not understand anything, to ask questions until you feel you understand completely what is proposed.
If you feel that you are a victim of doctor malpractice or hospital malpractice as a result of lack of informed consent then you should contact a qualified medical malpractice lawyer immediately. Contact our team of experienced malpractice lawyers today at 888-244-5480, for a free consultation.