“Informed consent” is a legal and medical term that refers to a patient’s right to know about the risks involved with a course of treatment or medical procedure before he or she decides in favor of a recommended treatment plan or medical procedure. When a doctor does not provide information about possible risks and the patients is injured as a result of the procedure or treatment, that patient may be able to sue his or her doctor for medical malpractice.
There are important exceptions to the informed consent rule:
- The patient is unconscious. A patient who is unconscious cannot give informed consent.
- Emergencies. In an emergency, a doctor must act quickly to save a life. If stopping life-saving efforts and describing the risks of a procedure will cause a delay that puts the patient’s life further at risk, then the doctor does not need to obtain informed consent.
- The patient is mentally incapacitated or emotionally fragile. If a doctor knows that his patient is so distressed that he or she will refuse necessary treatment, the doctor may not be required to get the patient’s informed consent. In addition, if a doctor believes that the details of a procedure will make a physically frail patient sick with anxiety, he may choose to withhold some information. However, the doctor must be able to demonstrate exactly why the risks of the procedure were not disclosed to the patient.
If you believe that your doctor behaved inappropriately, caused you harm, or put your life in unnecessary risk, you may have a Texas medical malpractice claim. To learn more, request a free copy of The Epidemic of Medical Mistakes & Understanding Your Rights or contact Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313 and ask to schedule a free consultation with a Texas medical malpractice lawyer.