Informed Consent: You Have a Right to Know Your Risks
Imagine that you’ve been diagnosed with an illness. Your doctor prescribes a course of treatment. He advises surgery. You trust that your doctor knows what he is doing and follow his recommendations. After the surgery, you find that your right side is paralyzed and you wonder what went wrong. Your doctor informs you that paralysis was a known risk of this procedure. You wonder, “Why wasn’t I told this before? Were there safer treatment alternatives?” You are now in worse condition than before the surgery and question whether your doctor truly knows what is best.
Most medical treatments and procedures involve risk to some degree. When you take an antibiotic, you may risk an allergic reaction or that the medication won’t work. During procedures like surgery, the risks are far greater. Even routine surgery involves a risk of infection or blood clots. By law, doctors must fully inform their patients about all the risks involved in any proposed medical treatment or procedure. They must also describe any alternative treatments so patients can make an informed decision. This right is known as “informed consent.” If your doctor does not get informed consent before a procedure and you are injured during procedure, you may have grounds to sue your doctor for medical malpractice in Texas.
Most doctors require patients to sign a consent form that details the risks of a medical procedure. However, this form is not adequate for informed consent. Your doctor should also discuss the procedure and the associated risks with you and make sure that you understand, as much as possible, the risk you face if you agree to the procedure.
If you are injured after a medical procedure and you believe your doctor violated your right to informed consent, you have a right to file a Texas medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to win your case, you and your Dallas medical malpractice attorney will have to show:
- You sustained an injury as a result of the medical procedure.
- Most competent doctors would inform patients that the medical procedure involved the risk of that injury.
- A typical patient with your medical history and condition would have chosen not to undergo the procedure if the risk was disclosed.
Do you have questions about medical malpractice? Request a free copy of Dallas medical malpractice lawyer Jeff Rasansky’s book, The Four Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice. If you’d like to discuss your own claim with a Texas medical malpractice attorney, please contact the Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313.