At The Gogel Law Firm, our St. Louis medical malpractice attorney knows healthcare providers throughout Missouri are legally required to obtain informed consent from patients before administering tests, procedures, and other medically beneficial treatments, or before allowing participation in research studies.
Informed consent is typically obtained through a document or form signed by the patient, affirming they understand the full extent of their diagnosis, how the physician plans to treat them, and any risks involved, so the individual can make informed decisions about their medical care.
When the basic elements of informed consent are not agreed upon before the patient receives care, or when another procedure occurs that was not part of the informed consent document, the physician may be committing medical malpractice.
Here is what patients throughout Missouri need to know about their rights.
What are the Basic Elements of Informed Consent?
Medical content can only be considered informed when the patient understands:
- Their medical diagnosis.
- The treatment the doctor recommends and wants to provide.
- The doctor’s rationale for recommending and providing the treatment.
- The treatment or procedure’s complete benefits and risks.
- The benefits and risks of not undergoing the treatment or procedure.
- Alternative options to the initial medical recommendations, and their risks and benefits.
When this information is outlined in an informed consent form, the waiver typically releases facilities and medical professionals from liability if a patient suffers an injury or loses their life during treatment or the procedure.
Why Must Missouri Patients Sign an Informed Consent Waiver?
An informed consent waiver is designed to protect the patient from harm.
The document states that there is ongoing communication between you and your physician(s), and that you have all the information you need to move forward with their medical care recommendations.
It is illegal for a physician to perform procedures on patients without their informed consent unless it is an emergency, or if the individual is incapacitated.
If a doctor fails to obtain an informed consent or gets the patient to sign the document through coercion or force, and he or she was injured during the treatment or procedure, it is considered medical malpractice.
Can I Pursue a Medical Malpractice Claim in Missouri If I Signed the Informed Consent Waiver?
Even if you signed a waiver that explained the risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment, you have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit if any of the following circumstances apply to your case:
- The waiver contained unclear language, making it difficult to understand, so you were not aware of the risks involved in the treatment or procedure.
- The waiver failed to inform you about a known complication, and you suffered from that complication during the treatment or procedure.
- The waiver did not accurately describe the risks or included misinformation about the complications you suffered.
- The negligent act or omission rises to the level of gross negligence.
- The nature of the physician’s negligence was preventable.
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact our St. Louis personal injury attorney today to review your case by calling (314) 775-3864 or online to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the negligent party for your full financial recovery.