Simply put, any medical procedure/medication comes with potential risks, and every patient has the right to decide whether to accept or deny those risks.
For that reason, before providing treatment or prescribing medication, health care providers must fully inform their patients of the risks and benefits of the procedure/medication (including alternative courses of action) before the patient decides whether to continue with the treatment plan. Otherwise, that patient did not actually give their informed consent to undergo the treatment plan. When a patient does not give their informed consent, it can have severe consequences for the patient and may lead to medical malpractice.
What is “Informed Consent”?
Generally speaking, informed consent is obtained when the patient understands:
- Their diagnosis
- The treatment the health care provider wants to provide
- The health care provider’s rationale for providing the treatment
- The benefits and risks of the procedure
- The benefits and risks of not undergoing the procedure
- Alternative options (and the risks and benefits of said alternatives)
Informed consent must be obtained for each serious procedure before the health care provider can proceed. An informed consent claim alleges that a health care provider failed to give a patient all information material to the patient’s assessment about whether to undergo to a particular treatment plan. Additionally, had the patient been informed of all the material information, they would have chosen a different treatment plan. “Material information” includes the positive and negative aspects of proposed medical treatment, the risks associated with the proposed treatment, and alternative treatment options.
Just Because You Signed a Form Does Not Mean You Gave Informed Consent
Documenting informed consent is important, but actually obtaining informed consent requires much more than simply getting a patient’s signature on paper. When obtaining informed consent, in a detailed discussion, the health care provider should review all material information so the patient can make an informed decision. A patient needs to understand the procedure, and this is best done through conversation, not reading vague medical terms in the fine print.
Has this Happened to You or a Loved One?
It is critical that you contact a medical malpractice attorney if you or a loved one feel that:
- You signed a waiver that failed to inform you about a known complication, and you suffered from that complication during the procedure;
- You signed a waiver that contained ambiguous language, and as a result, you did not adequately comprehend the risks involved;
- You signed a waiver that did not accurately describe the risks or included misinformation about the complications you suffered; and/or
- You otherwise were not fully informed of your proposed treatment plan.
If the above applies to you, reach out to The Law Office of Cardaro & Peek today for a free consultation. The lawyers of Cardaro & Peek together have more than eighty (80) years of experience handling medical malpractice and personal injury claims, and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. By working with a trusted legal team like Cardaro & Peek, you will get top notch legal services with no upfront costs— we only get paid if you win.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.