If you have any sort of injury or illness, your doctor may want to give you a certain type of treatment or perform a procedure. However, your doctor cannot simply operate on you or give you medications without your express consent. If your health care provider does not inform you about the risks and rewards of these treatments before you agree to them, you may be able to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
However, before you take legal action, it is important to understand the concept of informed consent and get counsel from an attorney. Here are some important facts you should know about giving consent for medical procedures:
The components of informed consent
You have the right to determine what happens to your body. Any doctor or health care provider you see must provide you with enough details about potential treatment so you can make a proper decision. Here are some necessary features of medical consent:
- The diagnosis
- The purpose and nature of the procedure or treatment
- The benefits and risks of the procedure or treatment
- Alternatives to the procedure or treatment
- The benefits and risks of alternatives
- The benefits and risks of not receiving any procedure or treatment
If your doctor fails to tell you all these details and you suffer harm because of it, he or she may be guilty of medical malpractice.
When consent is not necessary
There are certain instances when obtaining consent is not necessary. For example, if you are unconscious from a life-threatening emergency, the doctors may be able to operate on you to save your life.
You must suffer harm
Just because a doctor does not get your consent does not necessarily give you the legal grounds to file a medical malpractice claim; you must suffer an injury or illness due to your lack of knowledge. A lawyer can help you determine whether you have proof that your health care provider is negligent.