Everything You Need To Know About Informed Consent
Making decisions about your medical care or the medical care of a loved one can be incredibly difficult. Most medical procedures and treatments come with risks, and trying to determine if the benefits are worth the risks needs to be a very carefully made decision. When doctors don’t properly discuss the benefits and risks of treatment, patients can be left making uninformed choices.
What Is Informed Consent?
Informed consent is a process through which a physician receives explicit consent for a specific test, procedure, surgery, or other treatment from a patient or the party responsible for making medical decisions for a patient. Physicians are required to discuss a number of things with patients, including alternative treatments, all risks and consequences associated with each treatment, and benefits of each treatment. It is incredibly important that after this discussion, patients are able to confirm they understand all of the risks and benefits.
In some instances, patients are asked to sign a release stating they understand the risks and benefits and agree to proceed with the treatment. Unfortunately, the process of signing a release has led some doctors to forgo having educational discussions about treatment options in lieu of just asking patients to sign a release for treatment. Many patients feel intimidated by doctors, causing them to sign releases without truly understanding what they are agreeing to.
Understand Your Rights
Patients have the legal right to understand all of their treatment options. If you feel your doctor hasn’t adequately addressed all of your questions, you should seek a second opinion from another doctor. Patients should never feel rushed or ignored during medical treatment, and if patients feel uneasy about signing a release, they should take time to think about the decision or seek a second opinion if medically possible.
At times, medical decisions need to be made very quickly; however, doctors are still required to keep patients informed. If you feel like your doctor did not adequately explain your medical options and risks, talk to one of the Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP. We understand these situations can be upsetting, so we work with you to understand your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a no obligation, free legal consultation.