Every medical procedure poses certain risks, and every patient has the right to know about those risks before undergoing a particular screening, exam, or treatment. When a patient agrees to a procedure despite knowing the risks, this is called “informed consent.” Getting informed consent is important not only to ensure patients are aware of potential complications but also to protect healthcare providers from medical malpractice claims.
Laws regarding informed consent were first implemented in the early twentieth century. In 1914, the Supreme Court ruled that every adult of sound mind has the basic right to consent to medical care.
Although informed consent does not shield physicians who provide substandard care, it can serve as an added layer of protection in certain scenarios. If you are being sued for complications that arose during a procedure, whether or not you obtained informed consent, it is important to seek legal counsel right away to start planning your defense.The Florida medical malpractice defense attorneys at Lubell Rosen have the resources and litigation experience to guide you through every stage of the proceedings. To discuss your case and determine the most strategic way to proceed, call (954) 880-9500.
Understanding the Relationship Between Informed Consent and Medical MalpracticeBefore performing any kind of medical procedure, healthcare providers must inform their patients of potential complications. Patients who have a clear understanding of the risks they are facing can make an educated decision regarding the procedure and whether they wish to go through with it.
Obtaining signed consent forms from patients does not necessarily absolve providers of liability should complications arise; however, failing to do so could work against them in certain scenarios. For example, if a physician does not obtain consent before performing a minor surgery, an oversight could contribute to a subsequent malpractice claim should something go wrong. The plaintiff simply has to argue that he or she would not have opted for the procedure had the risks been made apparent.
Healthcare providers do not necessarily have to discuss every possible complication with patients before proceeding with a given treatment, but they must disclose the most statistically significant risks. They must also inform patients of any viable alternatives that might produce results similar to the procedure in question. The only scenarios in which physicians may not have to obtain informed consent are when dealing with medical emergencies and when treating patients who are emotionally fragile.
Call (954) 880-9500 to Speak with a Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer in Florida
If you are being sued for medical malpractice, contact Lubell Rosen. Taking action immediately allows our seasoned medical malpractice defense lawyers to investigate the circumstances of the incident while anticipating the opposing party’s next move. Call (954) 880-9500 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a case evaluation.