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Medical Malpractice: The Problem With The Lack Of Informed Consent

Person in a hospital bed signing a paperAs a patient, you have a right to know the potential risks of any surgical procedure before allowing a doctor to operate. Although doctors are required to obtain consent from patients before performing surgery, they are also required to ensure that you are in fact “informed”. This means that as a patient, a doctor has made you aware of the risks and consequences of any procedure. As a patient, you have a right to understand the options in front of you, including the risks in a certain course of action as well as any other important information allowing a medical professional to take action. That way, a patient is able to make a fairly formed decision and weigh their options before allowing a doctor to proceed. After all, it is your body and your family that will personally suffer the consequences of any medical decision.

However, new research in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that many doctors fail to share proper information and do not correct patient misinterpretations during informed consent discussions. The researchers found that the discussion of the patient’s prognosis was often not clear and alternative care plans were infrequently mentioned.

Here at Harvey Walner, we understand the frustration and helplessness that arises when specific medical wishes are ignored by negligent hospitals. Many patients are never properly informed of the risks and other options available to them by their doctor. And in many cases, those patients would have made different choices, had they been properly aware of those options. If you or someone you know have not been given the proper medical information before a medical procedure has been informed, please contact us to learn more about your rights as a patient.