Do You Have a Case for Informed Consent After a Medical Error?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Kathleen M. Reilly with Brady Brady & Reilly, LLC.
Informed consent is a vital part of any medical procedure; healthcare providers are legally required to adequately explain the pros and cons of a suggested treatment plan or procedure so that the patient can make an informed and voluntary decision regarding whether or not to undergo it. If after receiving this information the patient agrees, this constitutes informed consent. Informed consent is required in a variety of medical scenarios including clinical trials, most surgeries, radiation or chemotherapy, and more.
If you suffered from the negative effects of a treatment or as the result of medical error without giving informed consent, you may have a viable medical malpractice claim which can help compensate your physical and financial damages.
To qualify as informed consent, the medical staff must have provided the following information prior to your agreement:
- A diagnosis of the condition in need of treatment
- The name of the procedure or treatment and intended purpose
- Pros, cons, risks, and alternatives for the procedure
- Pros, cons, and risks of the alternative
Failing to provide this information prior to the patient’s agreement to a treatment or procedure could increase the medical staff’s liability in the event that a complication occurs and the patient suffers a new or worsened injury. While most medical professionals are highly trained individuals committed to the health and wellbeing of their patients, informed consent risks being forgotten or overlooked.
If you suffered from a medical error or complication during a treatment or procedure for which there was no informed consent, you may have a case.
It is important for the medical staff involved in your treatment to discuss the best and worst-case scenarios with you before obtaining your agreement. If an injury occurs that the patient was not informed of the possibility due to negligence or a medical error, the injured party may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit in which the healthcare providers who contributed to a patient’s injuries are investigated and litigated against in the course of seeking a recovery for the patient. Damages that may be recovered in a successful medical malpractice claim include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Due to the expensive nature of medical treatment, it is particularly important to talk to a medical malpractice attorney if you suspect there was a lack of informed consent before your medical injury, and/or if you suspect negligence on the part of one or more medical personnel caused or worsened your condition.
To learn more about medical errors or for help filing a claim, reach out to a medical malpractice attorney in your area.