Understanding Informed Consent

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

When faced with the possibility of surgical intervention, most patients experience a rush of anxiety, fear and questions. During the initial consultation and planning stages of a surgical procedure, it is the doctor’s duty to inform patients of all related risks, benefits and alternatives. This supply of information is called informed consent and mandates that after a patient receives all related information, their written consent is provided to medical staff before any medical procedure is done.

While the process of receiving informed consent may seem simple to a medical doctor, the emotional and mental state of a patient at the time of discussion may not lend itself well to remembering or recalling what is being discussed. In fact, it is not uncommon for patients to be willing to overlook a certain level of misunderstanding or misinformation if they feel their doctor is competent.

Unfortunately, even the most competent of doctors and medical staff can make mistakes. If a patient files a medical malpractice suit over an injury that may have been covered by the informed consent, it is important to have the help of a skilled attorney when seeking compensation.

For patients that believe they were injured due to the medical malpractice of a staff member, facility or doctor, they may benefit most by speaking to a medical malpractice attorney. It is a doctor’s responsibility to ensure that their patient is completely informed of all risks associated with a surgical procedure. If consent was given without a thorough understanding of the procedure and potential outcomes, a patient may be eligible to receive compensation for injuries suffered during the process. With the help of an attorney, an effective argument may be made to support a medical malpractice claim.

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