Your doctor has certain responsibilities to you, including fully disclosing the potential risks and complications associated with a recommended treatment. If your doctor fails to make those disclosures, a medical malpractice case is possible, depending on the outcome of the treatment. If you believe your doctor's failure to provide you with vital information led to injury, here is what you need to know.
What Is Informed Consent?
When your doctor recommends a treatment, such as a certain medication or procedure, he or she is legally required to disclose all of the information you need to evaluate the recommendation. For instance, if your doctor is recommending that you undergo surgery to relieve back pain, he or she needs to disclose all of the potential risks and complications that come with the procedure. The doctor also needs to provide you with alternatives if there are any available.
Additionally, the doctor needs to be sure that you understand what he or she is saying about the treatment and that you are competent to make a decision regarding your treatment. Once you are armed with the information needed, you are able to give your informed consent for the treatment. In essence, you understand what has been recommended and the possible consequences, and you are willing to undergo the treatment or an alternative.
What If the Doctor Did Not Provide Adequate Information?
If you feel that your doctor did not provide you with enough information for you to make a solid decision about your treatment, you could potentially file a claim for medical malpractice. In addition to arguing that you did not give your informed consent for the treatment, you also have to show that you were injured as a result of the inadequate information.
For instance, if your doctor recommended that you take steroids to treat a health condition and you developed diabetes as a result, it might not be enough for a claim. However, if you are temporarily in a diabetic coma or lose a limb due to uncontrolled diabetes of which you were unaware of, you might have a claim.
Another key element is that you have to prove that the information your doctor did provide was not enough to make an informed decision. To establish that the information provided was inadequate, your attorney could rely on a medical expert. The expert could testify regarding what information is normally given regarding certain treatments.
A medical malpractice case involving informed consent can be complex and difficult to prove. However, an experienced attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to help prove you were inadequately briefed regarding your treatment. For more information, call a professional like those at Bennett & Zydron PC.