If you have ever undergone surgery or other serious medical treatment, you were most likely given a form to sign before the procedure. This form stated that your doctor gave you the necessary information to decide whether to have the procedure and that you are electing to have the procedure in light of that information. This is what is referred to as informed consent. Here is everything you need to know about informed consent.
Defining Informed Consent
Surgeries and serious medical procedures carry some risks. As a medical patient, you have control over your body and the risks to which you are willing to subject yourself. If you do not have complete and accurate information, you cannot make a reasonable decision and lose that control. Proper informed consent involves a back-and-forth conversation with your doctor about your treatment, and these conversations include factors such as:
- The diagnosis
- The type of recommended treatment
- How your doctor expects the treatment to benefit you
- Possible risks or complications from the treatment
- What your doctor thinks will happen if you decline treatment
- Possible alternatives to the recommended treatment, and their risks and benefits
When a patient is given this information, they can make an intelligent and informed decision about whether or not to go along the proposed treatment.
When is Informed Consent Required
In most states, informed consent is a requirement, and the doctor should discuss the benefits and risks of a particular medical procedure. The patient should not rely solely on their own research of their medical condition. Informed consent is always required for these procedures:
- Cancer treatments
- Blood transfer or blood related procedures
There are some instances where informed consent is not required. It does not apply in medical emergencies when the doctor does not have time to describe the potential risks and must act quickly in order to minimize harm or save a patient’s life.
Informed Consent and Medical Malpractice
It is the patient’s right to be informed of the risks associated with any medical treatment. If a patient sustains an injury due to the treatment, they could suffer physical and emotional suffering. Patients could sue a medical professional for medical malpractice if they were not given sufficient information prior to undergoing treatment.
Contact The Snyder Law Group Today
The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements. Please visit our website, www.410thefirm.com, or call us at 410-843-3476, for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.