I Signed an Informed Consent…Am I Out of Luck?
Signing a consent form does not automatically prevent you from suing for medical malpractice. The purpose of a consent form is to provide information about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a medical procedure. Your signature on such a form acknowledges only that you have received the information in the form and agree to undergo the procedure.
Healthcare providers are responsible for providing treatment within the accepted standard of care, regardless of the signed consent form. If you believe that a healthcare provider acted negligently or committed malpractice, you should seek legal advice to see if you should consider pursuing a legal claim for compensation.
Understanding Informed Consent
Informed consent requires healthcare providers to inform patients about the nature of the treatment they will undergo, including its benefits, risks, and alternatives, before obtaining the patient’s agreement to proceed with the treatment.
In implementing this concept healthcare providers provide patients relevant information about proposed procedures, including risks, benefits, alternatives, and uncertainties. The goal is to enable patients to make well-informed decisions.
Consent and Malpractice
Signing a consent form does not waive your entitlement to proper treatment or your right to pursue a malpractice claim if improper treatment causes you harm. Consent informs the patient, but it doesn’t absolve providers of their duty to provide reasonable care. Malpractice claims involve allegations of negligent or substandard treatment that caused harm to the patient (i.e. care that was not reasonable).
Informed Consent: Implications in Malpractice Cases
Validity of Informed Consent
Malpractice cases may examine whether the patient truly understood the information provided and if the risks were fully explained. Inadequate consent processes or withheld information can weaken the defense of the doctor.
Consent forms show agreement to treatment, but they do not justify negligence in that treatment. A malpractice claim can be pursued if the provider deviated from accepted medical practices, resulting in harm.
Informed Consent Limitations
Consent covers the agreed-upon procedure, and complications may not be grounds for a claim. However, if the doctor or surgeon acted negligently and caused avoidable harm, you may have grounds for legal action.
Consult a qualified attorney experienced in medical malpractice to evaluate your case and provide legal guidance. Laws regarding medical malpractice vary, and an attorney can help determine the viability of your claim and navigate the legal process.