At The Gogel Law Firm, our St. Louis medical malpractice attorney knows that when our fellow Missouri residents undergo medical procedures, informed consent is an important part of understanding the treatment they are receiving.
Informed consent is more than a core component of medical ethics. It is an obligation healthcare providers owe their patients, so they can make educated decisions about their care.
If your medical care provider administered treatment before making sure you understood the risks, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim.
What is Informed Consent?
Informed consent refers to a patient’s express agreement to undergo medical treatment with the full knowledge of its nature and risks.
Every patient has a legal right to know what could happen to them if they agree to medical treatment or procedures and is an essential component in all provider-patient relationships.
Valid informed consent requires more than a patient’s signature.
It requires physicians to:
- Thoroughly explain potential treatment, expectations, and risks to the patient.
- Answer any questions the patient might have.
- Ensure the patient is capable of fully processing the discussion.
Informed consent gives patients the necessary information and opportunity to make educated healthcare decisions for themselves. This may include approving the medical course of action or refusing the recommendation based on the risk level, religious preference, or for other personal reasons.
If a physician does not obtain informed consent and administers treatment anyway, the patient may have legal grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Are There Medical Treatments That Do Not Require Informed Consent?
Informed consent is typically unnecessary during routine medical procedures, which may include checkups and non-invasive treatments with little risk of adverse effects.
In other cases, physicians may administer treatment without getting the informed consent they would usually need to proceed when the patient is incapacitated or during medical emergencies.
If taking time to explain treatment options would put a patient’s life at risk, medical providers may be able to administer potentially life-saving treatment without informed consent.
If you believe your physician provided medical treatment or a procedure that went beyond informed consent, or if you never gave informed consent for a procedure, contact our St. Louis medical malpractice attorney today to review your case by calling (314) 370-8173 or online to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options to hold the physician liable for your full financial recovery.