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.