Seven Things You Should Know About Informed Consent
You have the right, as a patient, to understand the risks and benefits of a course of treatment before choosing if you should continue with a medical procedure. Physicians are mandated under the law to disclose certain key pieces of information regarding medical treatments before a patient can agree to continue with the prescribed treatment. A patient’s consent to treatment is referred to as “informed consent.” If you think that you have been treated without first providing informed consent, you should consider discussing your case with a medical malpractice lawyer in New Jersey.
Informed Consent Does Not Guarantee a Positive Outcome
Informed consent is not meant to provide a guarantee of a positive result in your case. Physicians and health care professionals are mandated to provide you with proper information in order to choose if you want to proceed with the prescribed medical procedure.
Informed Consent Should Include Both the Benefits & the Risks of a Medical Procedure
When offering information to obtain informed consent, the doctor should discuss any possible benefits of the prescribed course of treatment, but the doctor should also discuss the potential risks associated with continuing on the prescribed course of treatment.
Your Doctor Should Discuss Why He or She Is Prescribing This Particular Course of Treatment
While discussing the possible risks and benefits associated with a medical procedure of course of treatment, the physician should also explain why he or she is prescribing this specific course of treatment. Essentially, why do the benefits of this treatment outweigh the possible risks?
Informed Consent Should Also Include Information About Other Possible Treatments
A doctor should also discuss other possible treatments when discussing the prescribed course of treatment. The physician should inform the patient of other possible procedures, the benefits and risks of these other treatments, and why these procedures are not as beneficial as the one prescribed by the doctor.
Informed Consent Also Relates to Medications
Physicians should inform their patients of the benefits and risks associated with medications being prescribed, such as information about alternative medications or treatments. Patients have a right under the law to have all available information before choosing if they should use any medication to treat their medical condition.
Disclosure of Information for Informed Consent May Not Include All Information Related to Risks
Failure to disclose certain pieces of information may not rise to the level of medical malpractice. The standard used to measure if a doctor should have disclosed additional information includes:
- What would other physicians have disclosed about potential risks given the same or similar circumstances or
- Would a typical patient have made a different choice had the patient received the information not disclosed by the physician?
There Are Some Exceptions to Informed Consent
A physician is not always required to get informed consent before performing certain medical treatments. For example, a medical emergency in which taking the time to explain procedures and risks could place a person’s life in danger would not require informed consent. A physician may not have to obtain informed consent if the physician knows that the patient’s emotional state would result in a refusal of treatment needed by the patient of the disclosure of information that may make the patient suffer overwhelming anxiety.
Informed Consent Can Be a Tricky Issue
Because medical procedures and prescribed courses of treatment have no necessary guarantee of a successful outcome, physicians are usually under serious scrutiny. Determining if informed consent was necessary can be hard in certain cases. At the same time, identifying the requirements for informed consent is also hard in certain cases. If you have any questions about informed consent, you should consider consulting with an experienced legal professional. Contact the New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC in order to discuss your case today.
Medical Malpractice Injuries in New Jersey
Those unfairly injured by the negligence of a health care professional should contact a qualified medical malpractice lawyer in New Jersey. The firm of Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC has the experience and resources to ensure that your case is treated fairly and that your rightful compensation is recovered. Our medical malpractice lawyers help victims and their families obtain cash settlements for lost income, medical costs, and pain and suffering. If a trusted physician has unfairly injured you or a loved one, contact our law offices today at (201) 997- 0030. We will fight to make sure that you obtain the full and fair value of your claim and that you have the help you need to make a full recovery after being unfairly injured by a trusted health care provider.