Informed Consent and Medical Malpractice

As a patient, it is your right to know the potential risks and benefits associated with treatment recommended by your medical professional before you undergo treatment. It is your medical professional’s duty to guide you through the process of informed consent and get your approval before beginning treatment.

Failure to obtain a patient’s informed consent is considered medical negligence in certain situations. These are discussed in the following article as well as legal exceptions to informed consent.

If you suspect you were the victim of medical negligence, have your case reviewed by an experienced Louisville medical malpractice attorney.  

What is Informed Consent?

Informed consent is a patient’s right to receive information and ask questions about recommended treatments. This allows a patient to make well-considered decisions about their medical care.

Informed consent includes being made aware of potential benefits and risks associated with recommended medical care. When a patient is unable to give informed consent due to a medical condition or incapacitation, the patient’s medical surrogate may do so on their behalf.

According to the American Medical Association or AMA, the informed consent process requires a medical professional to:

  • Assess a patient’s ability to understand relevant medical information and the implications of treatment alternatives;
  • Make an independent, voluntary decision;
  • Present relevant information accurately and sensitively, in keeping with the patient’s preferences for receiving medical information; and
  • Document the informed consent conversation and the patient’s (or surrogate’s) decision in the medical record in some manner. 

In emergencies when a patient’s surrogate is not available, a medical professional can initiate treatment without informed consent. The medical professional should inform the patient or their surrogate at the earliest available opportunity and obtain further consent before continuing treatment.

Informed Consent and Medical Malpractice

Medical professionals who fail to obtain informed consent may be held responsible for injuries suffered by a patient due to the procedure or treatment of which the patient was uninformed. 

Holding a medical professional responsible for failure to obtain informed consent requires a patient or their attorney to prove the following:

  • The medical professional was required to obtain informed consent for the procedure or treatment;
  • The medical professional failed to obtain informed consent;
  • The patient would not have consented to the procedure had they known of the risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment; and
  • The patient suffered an injury as a result of the procedure or treatment for which there was no informed consent.

It is important to note that routine and non-invasive procedures and testing typically do not require informed consent.

Contact an Experienced Kentucky Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

To learn more about informed consent and medical malpractice in Kentucky, contact the experienced legal team at Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC. We have represented the injured of Kentucky and their families for over 30 years.

Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, realizes that no amount of money can return you to your previous physical condition. However, compensation for your injuries can instill you with a sense of justice, pay for much-needed expenses, and protect others from the same treatment in the future.

Contact Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, in our Louisville office today at (502) 244-7772 to schedule your complimentary claim review.