When you or a loved one receive medical care from a professional, you have
the right to be informed of the possible risks that may be associated
with this particular medical treatment. This is referred to as informed
consent. If a doctor does not receive informed consent before proceeding
with medical treatment, then any injuries that result can be considered
Do I have a case based on informed consent?
The basis of
informed consent is to allow a patient to consider other forms of treatment depending on
the risks presented by each. Doctors and other medical professionals should
explain what may occur over the course of the particular procedure and
explain how this can affect the patient. Reasonable alternatives to the
recommended course of treatment should also be explained. The patient
also must be able to understand what the doctor is explaining to them.
If the patient agrees to the standard course of medical care, then a doctor
may ask them to sign a consent form that both outlines the risks and shows
that the patient is able to understand them.
What must be disclosed to a patient?
It is important for a patient to know about the risks associated with a
treatment since they may be able to sue for medical malpractice if they
are uninformed. This is based on the idea that the patient may not have
consented to the treatment if they knew what may have been involved. However,
it is not required that every single risk associated with a treatment
There are two standards that determine whether or not a doctor was negligent
in obtaining informed consent:
- Other competent doctors in the same or similar situations would have informed
a patient of a particular risk associated with the treatment; and
- A patient with a similar medical history would have made different decisions
about their care if the withheld risk was disclosed.
However, it is important to remember that emergency situations where medical
assistance is needed right away and when a patient is too emotionally
fragile to give informed consent, the doctor does not need to disclose
all relevant information. In these cases, it may be more effective and
better for the patient if the doctor first acts on their behalf instead
of waiting for consent.
Are you wondering if you have a medical malpractice claim based on issues
of informed case? The best way to find out is to speak with an experienced Portland medical
malpractice attorney. Contact our firm for a
free consultation with a lawyer.