You control your body. A lot of people tend to forget this when they receive medical treatment. They oftentimes think that doctors have wide latitude when performing a surgery, for example, to remedy whatever those medical professionals think needs fixing. Yet, doctors cannot provide you with any treatment without your informed consent.
What is informed consent?
There are several components to informed consent. To start, you have to be made aware of your condition, its severity, and your prognosis should you choose to forego treatment. Then, a doctor has to inform you as to your treatment options, identifying the potential benefits and the risks associated with each of them. In other words, you need to be made aware of as much information as possible before you consent to treatment. Only then, and once you’ve signed an informed consent form, can a doctor engage in a surgical procedure.
Going beyond informed consent
Far too often medical professionals go beyond the scope of the informed consent they have received. In many instances, this results in harm being caused to the patient. These injuries could lead to a worsened medical condition, the need for additional operations, permanent disability, and even death. The physical, emotional, and financial toll taken by these harms can be enormous, leaving victims with an uncertain future.
Hold errant medical professionals accountable
This outcome is wholly unacceptable. Medical professionals who operate beyond the confines of informed consent typically commit medical malpractice, which means victims might be able to hold them accountable and recover compensation for their damages. Successfully doing so requires knowing the law and aggressively applying it to the facts at hand, though, which is why most medical malpractice victims turn to experienced attorneys for assistance. Hopefully, with a strong legal ally on their side these victims can secure the hopeful outcome they deserve.