Exceptions to Informed Consent That Your Doctor May Be Able to Follow
When you go to the doctor, you expect your medical condition to be properly diagnosed and to receive competent medical treatments addressing your true issues. You also have a right as a patient to be advised of the tests, procedures, and treatments your doctor proposes. In addition, you have a right to be informed of the risks of procedures and treatments; the likelihood that such actions will be successful; and any alternative treatments for your disorder.
This intake process is known as informed consent, and it involves more than just giving you a form to read and sign. The purpose of this process is to give you enough information so you make an informed decision about your medical treatments.
If your doctor fails to obtain this consent, you might have a claim against him in the event
of medical malpractice.
What Are the Exceptions to the Requirements of Informed Consent?
In general, your doctor must obtain your informed consent before performing a test, procedure, or treatment. However, there are a few limited exceptions when it's not required, such as in the following situations:
- Emergencies. In an emergency health situation when your doctor must act quickly to save your life, he does not have time to obtain informed consent before treating you. As such, you cannot sue for medical malpractice, even if you wouldn't consent to this type of care under different circumstances.
- Risk of significant harm. If information regarding your condition or treatment would make you so emotionally upset or ill that you couldn't make an informed decision, your doctor may be excused from asking for informed consent.
- Patient incompetence. In situations when a patient is too mentally incompetent to give informed consent, even if the doctor takes additional care explaining treatment and risks, legally he can move forward without informed consent. This guideline generally applies to children and people with mental disabilities. If a patient has a conservator or guardian, the physician should obtain informed consent from that person.
Do you believe your doctor violated the rules for providing informed consent? If you suffered injuries due to this medical malpractice, you need an experienced attorney who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. I urge you to fill out online contact form, or call our office today at 888.716.8021 to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment.
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