When you have a medical procedure or treatment, your doctor has a duty to fully inform you about the risks involved. A failure to fully inform you about risks can be medical malpractice. However, not all risks need to be disclosed to a patient. Because of this, it is important to understand what informed consent is and what your doctor needs to tell you.
Informed consent means that you get all the essential information that you need in order to agree to certain medical procedures or treatments. Doctors will have a patient sign a consent form that gives details of the risk of the procedure or treatment that the patient is having. But, this is not enough for your to give informed consent. The doctor will still need to discuss the risks with you so that you understand the risks enough to sign the paper and give the doctor permission to perform the procedure or treatment. The doctor will also have to answer any questions that you have so that you can truly understand the risks or anything else that concerns you.
If you do not understand what risks are involved with your procedure or treatment, it could lead to malpractice. This can be the case if you would have made a different decision about the procedure or treatment if you had known the information beforehand. So, if you would have decided not to have the procedure or treatment at all if you had known the risk, the doctor maybe should have told you. And, if you would have chosen a different procedure or treatment, the doctor maybe should have told you about it.
But, it is important to know that doctors are not required to tell you every possible thing that might happen during the procedure or treatment. The doctor needs to tell you the risks that are important. If another doctor would have disclosed the risk to you, your doctor maybe should have disclosed the risk to you as well. Also, if another patient would have made a different decision when he learned about the risk, the doctor should tell you about the risk.
If you or someone you know would like more information, please contact Ms. Crossan through Bouchillon-CrossanLaw.com. Ms. Crossan practices in the area of civil litigation. She works in West Virginia and has an office in Huntington, West Virginia.