As a patient, you have the right to be informed and make your own decisions regarding your medical care. This is done by your healthcare provider through a process known as informed consent. According to the National Institutes of Health, typical disputes over informed consent involve surgeries, most notably cosmetic surgeries. The most common allegations across all areas of medicine are that certain complications were not properly disclosed to the patient. Informed consent is a legal requirement in the United States. As such, lack of informed consent in a Poughkeepsie medical malpractice case may lead to a lawsuit. Contact a dedicated medical malpractice attorney to start assessing your potential legal options.

Defining Informed Consent

Informed consent arises out of the legal and moral value of patient autonomy. Patients have the right to make their own decisions regarding their health and medical care. Physicians must provide patients with information about a specific treatment or test, allowing the patient to determine how they want to proceed and seek clarification as needed. When a person feels that a physician or medical provider failed to properly inform them, they could potentially file a lawsuit for damages.

The process of a patient receiving and understanding this information is referred to as informed consent in both the legal and medical fields. For most medical treatments, procedures, and tests, patients must give their voluntary informed consent.

Situations Not Requiring Informed Consent

Although most medical circumstances require informed consent by law, there are some exceptions. According to New York Public Health Code §2805-d, common exceptions include:

  • An emergency in which immediate medical attention is needed in order to prevent severe or irreversible harm
  • The patient could not, or intentionally and knowingly refused to, reasonably submit to disclosure
  • The risks of the procedure were so well-known as to reasonably justify a doctor not seeking informed consent

Additionally, there are some cases in which a medical professional may withhold some information if they believe providing that information would cause the patient high anxiety. If the doctor does withhold information for this reason, they must be able to demonstrate a clear reason why.

A Poughkeepsie medical malpractice informed consent case is not likely to have merit if one of these aforementioned situations occurred. However, if a patient believes their rights were breached, they should contact an attorney who is well-versed in medical malpractice laws.

Components of Informed Consent

Proper informed consent has four components. In order to be valid and upheld in court, all of the following elements must apply:

  • The patient or their guardian must have the ability to make the decision
  • The physician or other medical provider must give the patient information regarding the treatment, test, or procedure in question, including the expected benefits and risks as well as the probability of their occurrence
  • The patient must understand the relevant information
  • The patient must willingly give their consent, without coercion or duress

Call to Learn More About Informed Consent in a Poughkeepsie Medical Malpractice Case

Simply not obtaining informed consent without any further consequences is not grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, if you did not receive proper informed consent, suffered a poor outcome, and then were injured, you may be entitled to compensation under New York civil law.

As a patient, you have the right to be informed and allowed to make decisions in regard to your own healthcare. If you believe you did not receive informed consent in a Poughkeepsie medical malpractice case and suffered damages, call today to receive a free case review and learn more about your legal options.