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The Doctrine of Informed Consent

The doctrine of informed consent imposes a duty upon doctors to inform the patient of important medical information relevant to the proposed procedure or treatment, specifically any information that might affect the patient’s decision concerning the procedure or treatment. Most medical treatments or procedures involve some risk. It is the doctor’s responsibility to explain these risks to the patient before proceeding. Signing a consent form is not enough. The doctor must help the patient understand the risks associated with that procedure or treatment. According to the American Medical Association, the following are elements of informed consent that a doctor should disclose and discuss:

  • The diagnosis, if known;

  • The nature and purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure;

  • The risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure;

  • Alternatives (regardless of cost or extent covered by insurance); and

  • The risks and benefits of not receiving treatments or undergoing procedures.

When a doctor or other medical professional fails to fully inform a patient and as a result the patient either suffers personal injury or death, the doctor may be found liable for medical malpractice. So, if you or a loved one who has been a victim of injury or death resulting from a lack of informed consent, please contact the experienced team at Ball & McCann, P.C. so that they can start building a strong case on your behalf.

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