A Guttlaw ReportTM
Informed consent before surgery is your right.
Before consenting to surgery
- You have the right to know the nature and purpose of the treatment along with the goal of the treatment.
- You should be made aware of the reasonably known risks and complications of the procedure.
- In non-emergency situations, you should be told the name of the doctor who will do the procedure.
- You have the right to have all your questions answered and be made aware of any reasonably available alternatives, especially those which may be less invasive.
Does Consent Have to be in Writing?
Ideally, your consent should be given only in writing, and most hospitals insist on it. But some hospitals do not use written consent and instead use hospital chart entries like, "Patient advised of risks, and consents to treatment." If possible, you should have a family member take notes on whatever you are told. Consent is generally not required to perform surgery in an emergency situation although hospitals will generally try to get consent.
To win an informed consent case, you must prove that:
- A known risk was undisclosed prior to surgery or treatment and then caused harm.
- The harm was substantial.
- Disclosure of the risk would have caused you to forego the treatment, because the risk of harm outweighed the benefits of the surgery, as you see it.
Always Insist on Being an Informed Medical Consumer
Get Answers to Your Questions Before Surgery
Remember, it is your body and your right.
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Proving your case is the job of an experienced law firm like Rubin Guttman & Associates, L.P.A. We have been representing injured people hurt by medical malpractice or serious accidents for 32 years and would welcome the opportunity to have you consult with us. (For a free consultation and review of your case, please feel free to call us at (216) 696-4006).