If you have ever gone to the doctor, you are probably very familiar with the large packet of material that you must fill out before you see the doctor, even if you are just going to the doctor for a routine checkup.
Almost invariably, one or more lines in these forms will ask if you consent to the doctor treating you and providing medical care. When you agree to these lines in a form you are providing consent.When you are just going to your doctor for a routine checkup, it is not likely that anyone will explain what you are signing.
When you are about to undergo a surgical procedure or aggressive form of treatment, it is critical that a doctor explain to you all of the benefits and risks, as well as obtain your informed consent. In fact, informed consent in West Palm Beach medical malpractice cases can play a vital role in proving or disproving negligence. A capable malpractice lawyer can attempt to show that a doctor did not obtain informed consent, and that you were unaware of the risks and impacts associated with your treatment. Call a lawyer who will advocate for you.
Informed Consent Under Florida Law
Many people may not know what qualifies as informed consent in West Palm Beach medical malpractice cases. Informed consent means something more than just checking off a box on a standard form. Informed consent means that a doctor takes the time to explain a medical procedure or course of treatment with a patient.
Not only does a doctor have to ensure that the patient understands the procedure or course of treatment, but a doctor has to explain the reasons, benefits, and potential risks that are related to the procedure or course of treatment. Informed consent as provided by Florida Medical Consent Law Section 766.103 requires a medical provider to:
- Explain the nature of the medical procedure and what the medical provider intends to correct
- Explain the risks related to the particular medical procedure
- Offer various alternatives to the particular medical procedure and their outcomes including the option of doing nothing if there are no available alternatives
Informed consent is, therefore, a two-way relationship, not only does a doctor have to thoroughly explain the risks and benefits, as well as explain other options such as clinical trials with the patient, but informed consent also entails them understanding and expressly agreeing to the doctor’s proposed treatment. By signing a form confirming that they understand the benefits and potential risks, they are indicating the doctor has informed consent to perform a surgical procedure or another medical course of treatment.
What Happens if a Doctor Does Not Have Informed Consent?
The problem of informed consent arises more than most might imagine. Commonly an issue of informed consent arises when the patient is under the effects of anesthesia and a doctor or other medical provider discovers another medical issue. If a doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional fails to provide medical treatment without a person’s informed consent, and that person then suffers an injury as a result, the treating doctor may face liability and a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Contact a West Palm Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
You trust your doctors to make the best decisions for you, but that does not mean that you should not be included in the decision-making process. Knowing what qualifies as informed consent in West Palm Beach medical malpractice cases can help you moving forward. If you, a loved one, or someone you know has been injured because a doctor did not obtain their informed consent, please contact a West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer today.