Informed Consent: What Signing This Document Really Means

Informed consent is when a patient gives a doctor or other healthcare professional permission to proceed with a recommended treatment plan after being advised of possible risks and outcomes. Signing an informed consent document confirms that the treatment plan being administered and the risks involved have been explained. It is also states that you, as the patient, agree to the procedure despite the risks that are presented. But most importantly, it tells the reader exactly what procedure you consented to.

Personal Injury Lawyers

If you choose to pursue a lawsuit against your physician, you will have to explain in great detail why you believe the informed consent documentation was ineffective. On average, fewer than 8% of medical malpractice cases ever reach a jury. About two thirds of claims are either dropped, dismissed, or withdrawn. In the cases that do reach the trial stage, 80% to 90% of physicians prevail in court.

When a doctor explains a treatment plan to you, it is your responsibility as the patient to make sure you thoroughly understand what is being said. It is up to you to carefully assess each risk and discuss them with your physician if you have any immediate concerns. If you fully understand the risks and feel confident in the physician’s ability to successfully carry out the treatment, sign and date the paper authorizing your consent.

In order to be successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit, there must be evidence that the physician did not get informed consent from a patient or the physician failed to warn the patient about a specific complication they are experiencing. If an injury occurs as a result of a medical procedure, this is not automatic grounds for medical malpractice, especially if this complication was discussed during the informed consent process. However, if you experience complications outside of the risks that were discussed, or if the physician exceeded your consent, the physician is liable for medical malpractice.

Unfortunately, risks are inevitable when you agree to undergo any medical procedure. If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne.