How Informed Consent Can Influence Your Medical Malpractice Case

Before any medical procedure or healthcare treatment is performed on you, your doctor is obligated to inform you of all the risks that come with it. Following the listing and explanation of all these risks, you as the patient can either agree to undergo the treatment or procedure anyway, or you can back out. If you choose to agree, you will have given informed consent.

However, if a doctor neglects to inform you of the risks, or if you as the patient do not give your consent due to these risks, and the procedure or treatment is performed regardless and the patient is injured because of it, you will have reason to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor.

Defining Informed Consent

Since every procedure and treatment comes with its own set of risks, all doctors have become obligated to inform their patients of these risks so they can make their own informed decision on whether they wish to undergo that procedure or treatment. If the patient then chooses to agree to the procedure or treatment despite the risks, they will have given their informed consent.

To ease this process, many doctors have decided to put this matter to paper by giving their patients a consent form which lists all the risks involved in the treatment or procedure they have proposed. This document can then be signed by the patient, but – and that is a big but – that signature by itself is not enough to prove that informed consent was given by the patient.

An involved discussion is necessary for true informed consent since the patient must also fully understand what they are agreeing to. If that is in doubt and the patient is injured, the patient will have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor with the help of an injury lawyer in Kamloops.

The Risks

While doctors do not have to disclose every possible thing that could go wrong, they do have to cover all the major points, such as the risks that are statistically the most likely to occur or most important to mention.

In many cases, other doctors will be brought in in order to question them about whether or not they would have informed their patient about certain risks. Sometimes, patients with a condition equal to that of the plaintiff will also be brought in in order to question them about whether or not they would have given informed consent to the treatment if they were informed about the risk in question. If they were informed about the risks, the patient cannot file a claim. However, if the negligence is proven, then the insurance company will pay for the damages.