When you go to the doctor, you have a right to determine what happens to you and your body. This means, before a doctor performs a procedure, they must obtain your informed consent. This entails fully explaining a procedure, associated risks, and any potential benefits.

Informed consent in Schenectady medical malpractice cases can be complex. Fortunately, an experienced patients’ rights lawyer could help you thoroughly investigate the cause of an injury. By reviewing any allegations of medical malpractice, a focused attorney could demonstrate how a healthcare professional failed to obtain informed consent and fight for a positive outcome.

Informed Consent under Schenectady Law

A lack of informed consent may serve as the basis of a lawsuit. Defined under Public Health Law § 2805-d, if a doctor or healthcare professional fails to provide information on alternative treatments and disclose the risks and benefits associated with treatment as another professional would, then the patient is not able to make a knowledgeable decision. Therefore, the patient cannot give full consent with understanding of all the necessary information.

Informed consent is not just a formality. Doctors should make every effort to explain any procedure or course of medical treatment to their patients. While there are a few notable exceptions, such as emergency situations, doctors must generally obtain informed consent before treating a patient.

When Is Informed Consent Needed?

Healthcare providers need to obtain informed consent typically applies to situations where a doctor will be performing a surgical procedure or prescribing a course of treatment with potential side effects. Typically, a doctor must discuss the risks of a procedure or course of treatment with the patient and explore all available alternatives. This includes before performing diagnostic procedures that involve invasion into the body and before including a patient in a medical research study.

However, there is a notable exception to the informed consent mandate. Doctors may render services and perform surgical procedures to individuals in emergency situations. To this effect, if a person is injured in a car accident and is unconscious, but requires a life-saving surgery, the doctor may perform the procedure without first obtaining informed consent from the patient.

How to Prove a Lack of Informed Consent

Proving that a doctor did not obtain informed consent in a Schenectady medical malpractice case requires closely examining the situation and condition surrounding the treatment. To prove liability by a lack of informed consent in a medical malpractice case, a potential plaintiff must demonstrate certain facts. These include:

  • The doctor did not disclose the reasonably foreseeable risks associated with a course of treatment, or provide alternatives
  • A reasonable medical practitioner would have disclosed the risks in the same situation
  • A reasonable patient in the same situation would have not undergone treatment
  • The lack of informed consent was the proximate cause of the injury

Speak with a Schenectady Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

It is the responsibility of a doctor to inform their patients of all the risks, benefits, and aspects or alternatives of a procedure. Failing to do so means you cannot make a fully informed decision about your care. If your doctor did not explain the risks and alternatives of a procedure and you were harmed as a result, you could bring a claim alleging medical malpractice. Contact a seasoned attorney today to discuss your case and explore your legal options.