What is informed consent? That’s a question we hear a lot at Wynperle Law. If you’ve ever been in a medical situation where you had to sign something declaring that you understand everything going on and agree to it, then you have given informed consent.
In the medical field, most doctors study that informed consent is there to allow patients to exercise their patient autonomy. This means that a patient should be able to make an educated choice about their course of treatment.
Let’s go over some typical elements of informed consent to help you make more educated decisions about your health care needs.
What is Informed Consent?
Informed consent is a decision-making process where patients are provided with all of the necessary information to make an educated choice about whether or not they want to participate in a medical procedure or treatment plan.
The informed consent process consists of two things: disclosure and authorization. Disclosure means providing the patient with all available information regarding the treatment, including significant risks and expected benefits. Authorization means that the patient gives their written consent for their healthcare providers to perform clinical trials or administer their treatment plan.
To be legally valid, informed consent must meet specific criteria:
- The patient must be in their right state of mind to make medical decisions. (Must be a reasonable person)
- The patient should have enough information to make an informed decision.
- The patient should know about any risks and benefits associated with the procedure or treatment.
- The patient must agree voluntarily or have parental permission if they are not of the legal age.
- A signature from a witness (such as a nurse) is often required.
Do I Need to Sign an Informed Consent Form?
Yes. A written consent form is required by law.
An informed consent form is a legal document, a signed statement that a reasonable person would make before undergoing a particular test, procedure, or treatment with any health care provider. The informed consent form includes information about the specific details of the treatment and information about the alternatives, and expected risks and benefits.
The informed consent document ensures that patients understand these risks before they decide on whether to proceed with the treatment plan or not.
It also keeps doctors safe legally if something goes wrong during a procedure because it shows that they did everything they could to make sure their patient was aware of what they were getting into before agreeing to medical care.
Once the participant agrees and signs an informed consent document, indicating their understanding of the risks, benefits, and alternative treatments, they have granted informed consent.
Can a Doctor Make a Decision About My Care?
No. You have the right to decide about your health care, even if this means not getting treatment or leaving the hospital. Patients also have the right to refuse treatment depending on the patient’s preferences.
Doctors and other health care providers must have your informed permission before providing treatment or care. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
For example, in emergencies, your health care provider may not be able to obtain informed consent or ask for your signed consent form before giving you medical treatment.
If a delay might cause harm to your health, the healthcare provider can treat you without your informed consent documents. Informed consent laws also dictate that health care providers should try to get someone who knows you well—like a family member or friend—to agree on their behalf.
The other instance is when you have a surrogate medical decisions maker. This person is someone with an advance directive or other legal document that says someone else has the right to make medical care decisions for you.
How Do I Know If I Was Given Proper Informed Consent?
A patient who does not have proper informed consent will not receive all the relevant information, meaning they cannot genuinely give their permission for any medical care to happen. Without the proper informed consent process, medical practitioners are liable if something goes wrong during the treatment.
If you believe you did not follow the proper informed consent process—for example, if your medical provider failed to explain all the risks clearly—you may have grounds for a lawsuit against them for putting you at significant risk. The first step is speaking with an attorney who has experience in this written consent form area of law.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Informed Consent Case?
Yes. You might not be able to represent yourself.
Medical malpractice cases can be complex and challenging, but this does not mean that you have no chance of obtaining compensation. If you or someone you love has been a victim of medical malpractice or you were denied your right to refuse treatment, you must seek legal advice from an experienced attorney.
At Wynperle Law, we understand just how crucial your informed consent case is to you, and we are here for you every step of the way. If you are ready to begin working with a lawyer who can provide the kind of legal representation you deserve, get in touch today.
The first and only step you need to take is consulting a lawyer. And when it comes to insurance claims, Wynperle Law is the best firm in the industry. We’ve got a team of attorneys who have recovered millions of dollars from insurance fraud, and we’ve been doing it for decades.
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