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Lack of Informed Consent

Lack of informed consent can be grounds for a medical malpractice case. It deals with what the doctor informed you, before prescribing a treatment or doing a procedure. When a doctor is proposing a certain form of treatment, he is obligated to discuss with you, the risks, and benefits of the treatment and if any alternatives are available.

Medical or Patient Ignorance Unbeknownst to Them

If the doctor fails, to give you this type of full and informed consent, then it may happen that you might make a medical decision about the course of your treatment without having the benefit of all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Facts Supporting Lack of Informed Consent

In New York when you bring a claim for medical malpractice, the claim for lack of informed consent is often included, if the facts support it. The facts will support it when the doctor has not explained to the patient, the details and the risks associated with the treatment or surgical procedure that he prescribes. During the pre-trial examination, the plaintiff's lawyer will ask the doctor about the conversations that occurred concerning informed consent. Here are some of the typical questions that are asked:

· Doctor would agree to discuss with the patient, the risks associated with the procedure

· Would you agree to discuss the alternatives

· Would you discuss the benefits of the treatment

· Would you agree that every procedure has certain risks associated with it

· Would you agree that the patient should have all the information necessary regarding the treatment or procedure in order for him to make an informed decision

· If the patient does not have all the information regarding the procedure, will he not be at a disadvantage in making the proper decision regarding their surgery or treatment options

Defense Used against Lack of Informed Consent

The doctor will usually say yes to all these questions, but one of the key defenses that doctors often use is that every treatment option or procedure has inherent risks. When a patient undergoes surgery, one of the significant risks is death. It could occur due to some complication or seizure. However, many doctors will not go into detail about the significant risks associated with the surgical procedure, because they think it will scare away most of their patients.

Proper Explanation

If the patients are frightened, they will not undergo the required procedure and they will not be cured. Therefore, most doctors will say everything will be fine and that they have never had any issues with such a procedure before. However, the reality is that there are always inherent risks involved with any procedure or treatment, and the patient should be given the opportunity to make an informed and educated decision. Fantastic and well respected doctors will often make a recommendation to the patient and phrase it in a way that makes their opinion quite clear.

The Doctor Failed at a Critical Juncture: Bypassing the Clear Explanation Part

The plaintiff's lawyer will have to find out during questioning, why certain risks were disclosed, and certain risks were kept from the patient. The lawyer will ask the doctor if particular risks associated with the procedure were discussed or not. If the doctor has not discussed the risks elaborately, he could be liable for a lack of informed consent.

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