Many medical procedures come with risks. It is something that is understood and explained to patients before the procedure is performed. This is known as informed consent. However, if a patient is not warned about the risks associated with a medical procedure before it is performed on them and the patient suffers harm during the medical procedure, it can sometimes result in a medical malpractice claim.
What If My Doctor Didn’t Warn Me of the Potential Risks of a Medical Procedure?
There are instances where a doctor is not required to provide a patient with informed consent before performing a medical procedure. For example, in emergency situations when time is of the essence and the patient’s life is at stake, a medical professional is often allowed to perform a medical procedure without warning a patient of the potential risks.
However, there are many situations where if a doctor does not warn a patient of the risks of a medical procedure, it can be considered medical malpractice. It is a doctor’s duty to warn a patient of the potential risks of any type of medical procedure. That includes risks that are major and minor. Only after informing the patient of the risks, and getting their consent, can a doctor perform a medical procedure on the patient.
There are guidelines that a doctor must follow regarding informed consent:
- If a potential risk is something that other medical professionals would inform a patient about during the informed consent process, a doctor should disclose it to their patient.
- If a reasonable patient would allow the potential risk to influence their decision to consent to a medical procedure, the doctor should disclose the risk to their patient.
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