Lack of Informed Consent as a Medical Malpractice Claim

When you think about medical malpractice, you always imagine scenarios where a doctor has done an incompetent error, like a surgical error, and the patient ends up getting hurt. That is understandable, because that is indeed a typical medical malpractice claim.

But it is important to know what medical malpractice really is, because it is much broader than you realize. A medical malpractice happens when the following scenarios happen: a medical professional has the duty of care to a patient, the medical professional has an action or inaction that can be considered negligent, reckless, or incompetent, and the action or inaction has resulted into the harm of the patient. So, it is not just about surgical errors, because any careless act can be a reason for a medical malpractice claim.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, one manifestation of medical malpractice is the lack of informed consent. Lack of informed consent happens when a patient has technically consented to a treatment process, has done so without too much knowledge, and has ended up injured. The patient should be informed regarding a variety of things before he can have an “informed consent,” such as the following:

·       The medical professional’s name and qualifications

·       The patient’s medical condition

·       The treatment process’s description

·       The treatment process’s nature

·       Why the treatment process is needed

·       The treatment process’s goal

·       The treatment process’s risks

·       The treatment process’s chance of success

·       Alternative treatment methods

This way, the patient can make an informed decision whether he wants to give consent or not to undergo the treatment process. This can be very crucial, because there are treatment processes that may have details that may make the patient back out, like when they have too much risks compared to what the patient is comfortable with or too little success rate to make them worth it.

If a patient undergoes the treatment process without having full knowledge of what it is and what could be, and has ended up getting hurt, he may have a legal option, in the form of a medical malpractice claim under the lack of informed consent.

Read More

Ways of Managing the Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) on a Daily Basis

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder that affects the colon or large intestine. It causes abdominal cramps, bloating, and a change in bowel movement. Some people with IBS suffer from constipation (this is called IBS-C, or IBS with constipation), while others suffer from diarrhea (IBS-D or IBS with diarrhea). There are also cases wherein pattern of constipation and diarrhea alternate (this is IBS-M or mixed IBS).

Medical professionals are not sure as to the real cause of IBS. One thing is certain, though – that it affects women more than men and that it is more often found in people below 45 years old. Its symptoms also vary from one person to another, but the most common are mucus in the stool, violent episodes of diarrhea, constipation, constipation alternating with diarrhea, gas and bloated feeling, belly pains or cramps, changes in bowel movement patterns, and harder or looser stools than normal.

As explained by the GastroCare LI center, IBS doesn’t necessarily have a cure; however, the following treatment options can help a patient manage its symptoms on a daily basis:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Stress management (since stress is also said to worsen IBS symptoms)
  • Medications
  • Probiotics
  • Talk therapy
  • Mindfulness training
  • Diet and nutrition counseling

The following medications may also help treat IBS:

  • Antispasmodics, which can control colon muscle spasms;
  • Antidiarrheal drugs, which may help with diarrhea;
  • Laxatives, which relieves constipation;
  • Antidepressants (since stress can worsen IBS symptoms);
  • Linaclotide (Linzess), which can relieve constipation by making bowel movements happen more often; and,
  • Lubiprostone (Amitiza), which treats IBS with constipation in women (it is not known if this drug will work in men).

Anyone with IBS can get help, but there is no single treatment that will works for everyone since its symptoms can be triggered by anything, including medicines, certain foods, presence of gas or stool, and even emotional stress. Thus, a doctor may require a patient to undergo different lab tests to help him/her determine what actually causes the symptoms.

 

Read More