Each day, thousand of patients are subjected to complications which arise following surgical procedures. For some, the medical surgical complications will have a life long impact on the ability to perform activities of daily living and impair recovery and financial security. For many patients, suffering permanent complications following surgery, the move to file a suit for medical malpractice is quite common. As a patient, seeking to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, understanding the aspect of medical malpractice involving informed consent, will provide for a more educated background in the allegations often detailed within the medical malpractice petition.
Within a medical malpractice law suit, the patient’s attorney will commonly outline a variety of negligence allegations. Once such negligent allegation, involving the “informed consent” doctrine of law, is commonly listed as part of the medical malpractice petition and law suit but, rarely, provides for a basis, alone, for recovery of damages under he medical malpractice litigation.
Informed consent, before a surgical procedure, involves a medical standard in which a healthcare provider must give a patient the appropriate details with regard to diagnosis, treatment and outcomes, before surgery begins. Under the “informed consent” doctrine of medical malpractice, it is this information on which a patient is believed to make a reasonable decision with regard to treatment options. When not given appropriate “informed consent”, the negligent allegation may be used in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Listing “informed consent” as an allegation of negligence, within a medical malpractice suit, often does not give rise to a plaintiff being awarded damages as the lack of “informed consent” alone is not a basis for neglect except when the plaintiff can prove the decision to proceed, or not proceed, with a procedure would have been made differently, and solely, upon the accurate facts of an informed consent, had it been given prior to surgery. As the intellectual processes of a patient can not be evaluated in hindsight, awarding plaintiff damages, in a medical malpractice suit, on this basis, alone, is not commonly achieved.
When used in combination with other negligent allegations, however, the “informed consent” doctrine can lead to an award of damages, under the medical malpractice provisions, providing the patient’s attorney can show not only a lack of informed consent but also negligence in a variety of other medical related facts. In a combination approach, the “informed consent” doctrine can lead to a settlement of damages, in a medical malpractice law suit when a pattern of negligence is exhibited.