Medical Malpractice: Lack of Informed Consent

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional has become incompetent, negligent, or reckless, resulting into the harm of a patient. Typically, a medical malpractice incident happens this way: First, there is a legitimate relationship between the professional and the patient. Second, the professional then has the duty of care towards this patient. Third, this duty of care has been breached because of the professional’s action or inaction. Fourth, the breach has resulted into the patient getting harmed.
It is a good thing that, according to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, those who have been hurt because of medical malpractice may have legal options, such as making the responsible party accountable for the damages.
One way medical malpractice can happen is through the lack of informed consent. Lack of informed consent occurs when a medical professional has failed to inform the patient of the possible risks of an upcoming operation, medication, or any kind of treatment process, and then the patient ends up getting hurt.
The medical professional should properly inform the patient of the following:

  • The treatment process’s description
  • Why the treatment process is necessary
  • The treatment process’s goal
  • The potential risks of undergoing the treatment process
  • The treatment process’s chance of being successful
  • Other treatment processes that may serve as alternatives

After being informed thoroughly, the patient will then need to sign papers of consent, to prove that he or she is willing to undergo the treatment process with full knowledge of what could happen, both positively and negatively.
“Full knowledge” is also an important part there. So, in essence, lack of informed consent is not just about consent itself, because the patient’s decision should be based on a thorough understanding of the procedure and its possible risks.
This is particularly important on treatment processes that may have details that can make the patient back out. Those cases may be a case of medical malpractice due to lack of informed consent because the patient has agreed even though he or she has not been fully informed of the risk of pursuing the treatment process.

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