If your doctor recommends treatment for a medical condition, you trust that this advice to benefit your health. Still, whether you require surgery, medication or another intervention, it is prudent to understand your risks.
When you experience an adverse outcome from the treatment you receive without authorization, you may have a case for medical malpractice.
What is informed consent?
Doctors’ duty of care to patients includes informing them about the potential negative consequences of specific treatments. In addition, treatments should not commence until patients sign a form acknowledging they understand the risks and agree to proceed. Informed consent allows patients to be part of the decision-making process concerning their health.
When is it permissible for doctors to waive informed consent?
Although doctors promise to honor their patient’s informed decisions, doing so is not always possible. For example, a doctor may need to administer risky or urgent treatment to save someone’s life or prevent irreversible damage in an emergency. Also, some procedures do not require a patient’s informed consent, and a doctor may use discretion when determining what to reveal.
When may you have a valid medical malpractice case?
Texas has strict laws obligating doctors to obtain the informed consent of patients who will undergo specific procedures. Unfortunately, positive treatment outcomes make it challenging to calculate the number of times doctors fail to obtain patients’ authorization. However, if you are not allowed to give your informed consent before a procedure requiring it and experience a negative outcome, you may have a strong case for medical malpractice.
Finally, various factors determine whether you have a legitimate medical malpractice claim, even if you sign an informed consent form.