Informed Consent: What Your Doctor Is Required to Disclose
You have the right to be informed about the risks of any proposed procedure or treatment by your doctor beforehand. This is known as informed consent. If your doctor fails to give you informed consent and you suffer injuries as a result, you may be able to hold your doctor responsible for medical malpractice.
What Must Be Disclosed When Giving Informed Consent?
Informed consent is important because it provides you with information that can help you decide to undergo a test, procedure, or treatment. A doctor is required to provide basic but vital information to you so you can make an informed decision regarding whether you should proceed.
Your doctor should advise you on the following:
- Description of the procedure or treatment
- Why the procedure or treatment is necessary, and what the outcome should be
- An explanation of the risks and possible complications
- A discussion of alternative procedures and treatments, and their complications and risks
- The likelihood that the procedure or treatment will be successful
You should be given time to ask follow-up questions and to consider your decision. If your treatment options are changed, your doctor should request your informed consent before starting this new treatment.
Many patients are given a form to read and sign, but informed consent is more than this. Even if you sign such a form, you could be entitled to compensation if your doctor didn't give the required disclosures to you. In order to have a claim for medical malpractice, you would need to show:
- Your doctor failed to disclose a material risk.
- You wouldn't have agreed to the treatment if the risk had been disclosed.
- You suffered injuries.
Even if your doctor did the procedure correctly, this isn't a defense.
If you were not provided with informed consent, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress. However, Idaho’s medical malpractice laws are complex and confusing, so it's best to have an experienced attorney walk you through the process. Fill out my online form or call me today at 888.716.8021 to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment.