If a medical practitioner performs a procedure for which the patient had not previously given express consent, or if the scope of the procedure goes beyond what the patient had authorized, the doctor may be held liable in a lack of informed consent case. While there are limited circumstances under which informed consent is not necessary, it is required for all pre-planned medical procedures. If you believe a doctor conducted a procedure without your informed consent, a lack of informed consent lawyer in Indianapolis, IN, can help you file a medical malpractice suit. Contact our law offices today to schedule your initial consultation.
What does Lack of Informed Consent Mean?
In order to perform any pre-planned medical procedure, the doctor must first obtain the patient’s consent. The process of obtaining the patient’s consent ideally involves a discussion between the doctor and the patient that provides the patient with an overview of the procedure, its purpose, and the expected outcome. This conversation should also cover the risks associated with the procedure and any available alternatives. Furthermore, the patient should be allowed ample time to make his or her decision regarding moving forward with treatment.
While there are limited circumstances under which informed consent is not necessary, it is required for all pre-planned medical procedures.
Most lack of informed consent cases are related to a doctor failing to explain some or all risks associated with the procedure. Some lack of informed consent cases involve a doctor performing additional, unnecessary, or unwanted procedures during surgery. In both circumstances, the patient may experience some form of injury that would not have happened if he or she had been aware of the risks associated with the additional procedure.
When Can a Doctor Act without Patient Permission?
There are limited situations in which a doctor may act without the patient’s permission. If, during an emergency, the patient is unconscious, the doctor can take the necessary steps to revive the patient without consent. If something happens during a procedure that requires emergency action, the doctor may take those actions without consent to preserve the patient’s health. Doctors do not have to obtain informed consent during routine examinations.
Express and Implied Consent
Express consent is what typically follows the conversation between the doctor and the patient. The patient agrees to have the procedure performed and signs paperwork giving his or her express consent for the doctor to operate. Express consent may also include verbal consent.
Implied consent, however, can include a variety of different factors, including body language such as nodding. The act of showing up for surgery and having fasted for 24 hours prior may also be considered implied consent. Expressly consenting to a surgical procedure often includes implied consent for any additional treatments or procedures that arise during the surgery.
The Need for a Lack of Informed Consent Lawyer
Proving lack of informed consent is often difficult, so it is critical to work with an attorney. If a lack of informed consent has resulted in an injury to you or a loved one, our lawyers can investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury. If we find your doctor or surgeon acted without obtaining your consent and thus caused your injury, we can file a medical malpractice claim on your behalf.
Contact Golitko & Daly, PC, Today
If you believe your doctor acted without your consent and subsequently caused you harm during a medical procedure, contact Golitko & Daly, PC, today to schedule a case evaluation with one of our attorneys. We can determine whether there is sufficient evidence to file a medical malpractice suit and help you secure the compensation to which you are entitled.