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Violations of Patient Consent

Violations of Patient Consent

We all want our doctors, physicians, nurses, and so forth to help us overcome illnesses and injuries; this is the reason we go to the doctor in the first place. But each patient also wants to know what will be done to help them heal and recovery. In fact, each patient needs to know due to patient consent laws. If they are left in the dark, it could spell legal trouble for the medical practitioner, possibly culminating in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Two Forms of Patient Consent

Patient consent is actually divided into two forms that must, in most situations, both exist in order for a medical procedure to begin. The first form is “express” consent, which is fairly simple. If you sign a piece of paper that says, “This medical procedure may be used to help treat me,” you have given express consent.

The second form is more important, and it is known as “informed” consent. In order to give informed consent, you must be told in detail about the medical procedure your doctors want to use. This includes outlining the benefits, the actual steps involved, the potential complications, and what else needs to be done if a complication does arise. Essentially, you must be offered a crash course on what treatments will be done. If you have ever undergone surgery, you probably were handed a multipage docket talking about all of these details. Signing it provides both express consent and informed consent; not signing it means that particular procedure cannot be completed or started.

What is Implied Consent?

There is actually a third form of consent that works against you in medical malpractice cases. Known as “implied” consent, it states that there are certain medical procedures and emergencies that forego your right to express and informed consent. If a procedure is low-risk, low-stress, and routine, you give implied consent just by showing up for the treatment as planned. For example, getting a flu shot does not require you to understand everything about it before it can be done. If you are unconscious and cannot give any consent but a medical procedure must be done to save your life, you have given implied consent to emergency responders and surgeons to do whatever they must to keep you alive. For example, if you are thrown into a coma due to a traumatic car accident, you can be transported to a hospital and given something as intense as heart surgery if it is necessary.

Creating a Lack of Patient Consent Lawsuit

When implied consent is not a factor, you can create a medical malpractice lawsuit if you are not given the chance to provide express consent, are not informed of all potential complications, or an accepted procedure is performed more than once or in a way that is different than what was agreed upon. Creating a successful medical malpractice case for patient consent violations can be difficult, to say the least. Hospitals, medical bars, and individual doctors are often backed by teams of attorneys who will defend their practice and finances.

If you need to pursue compensation after your patient right to consent was violated, you should call 505.219.2176 to connect with Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law. Our personal injury attorney in Albuquerque has more than 15 years of experience handling complicated and sensitive cases, such as medical malpractice claims. Get the rundown of what you should do next by scheduling a free consultation.


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