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Know Your Rights: What is Informed Consent?
In a previous blog, we briefly addressed the issue of informed consent in a health care setting. But in order to fully understand your rights as a patient, it is important to gain a full and comprehensive understanding of what giving your informed consent means, and how a miscommunication of your consent could become the basis of a medical malpractice case. Read on to find out more.
Informed Consent: Much More than Paperwork
When you are a patient in a hospital or health care center, you will often find that a lot of paperwork needs to be filled out before your physician can go forward with certain procedures or using certain medications in your treatment. But your signature on form does not guarantee that you have given your informed consent for the type of treatment your doctor recommends; there is much more to it than that. True informed consent is given after your doctor has an in-depth, honest conversation with you about the risk factors associated with the type of treatment you are going to receive. If your physician wants to prescribe a specific medicine, that means they first must tell you about any and all potential side effects of it. If you are a candidate for surgery, that means your physician must tell you what the risks of surgery are, no matter how small or routine it may be.
How Might Your Doctor Neglect Your Informed Consent?
If informed consent is so important to patient safety, then why is it that physicians sometimes neglect to gain it? The discussion needed in order to gain informed consent can be a challenging one to have, or at least to frame in the proper terms. Physicians know that even a minor medical procedure can carry some risks along with it, but they do not want to frighten their patients out of a necessary treatment. As a result, they may not fully explain the risks or gloss over some of the facts that they believe are not immediately relevant to your case. But, as with anything, it is important to be prepared for any eventuality, and if the worst happens despite your physician’s best efforts without them having gained your true informed consent, then you may have the basis for a medical malpractice suit against them.
Do you believe that your physician did not gain your informed consent for a medical procedure and you were injured as a result of it? Get in touch with us today for more information about how to pursue your case.
We have four offices across Maryland and Virginia with trained legal professionals ready to assist you. Please CALL US at 1-800-243-2439 to be directed to the closest Jenkins Block & Associates location to you.