Bonezzi Switzer Polito & Hupp Co. L.P.A.
  • ohio Defense Lawyers 216-586-2013
    877-214-7321
  • Florida Defense Lawyers 727-826-0909
Practice Areas

What is 'informed consent?"

Most medical patients will want to know what is in a pill before they take it, or what a surgery will entail before they agree to go under the knife. It is natural to want to be informed about a medical procedure before submitting to it, because of the fear of the unknown.

Most doctors understand that telling their patients about a possible treatment’s risk and side effects can help the patients make informed decisions about their health. It is also the law in most states. Patients generally have a legally recognized right to receive information about their medical condition, treatment options, risks associated with those options, and their prognosis. This communication must be in plain language so that the patient can understand, yet be comprehensive enough that the patient is sufficiently informed to decide on a course of treatment.

This is known as “informed consent.” A patient who claims he or she was never given the chance to give informed consent may bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, if the treatment somehow harmed him or her.

The law limits the right to informed consent to “competent” patients, or those with the mental capacity to make decisions about their own care. Adults are presumed to be competent, but can be shown to be incompetent due to illness or disability. Minors generally are presumed to be incompetent; a parent or guardian must consent on the minor’s behalf.

An accusation of medical malpractice can severely damage a physician’s practice and reputation, no matter how flimsy it is. All accusations require the assistance of an experienced attorney.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information