Imagine you’ve just found out you need emergency surgery. You’re anxious, scared, and emotional. The nurse comes in and hands you some documents. You are instructed to read the forms and sign your name. As you start to read the paperwork, your brain is in a million places. You’re thinking about your family members, your condition, what would happen if you never woke up from your surgery, whether you’re going to be in pain afterward, whether surgery is going to work to correct your medical problem.
You can’t concentrate on the document. You don’t know what it says. You can’t even understand it, as it full of legalese. The document you’ve been given is an informed consent form. Signing that form before going into surgery means you are stating that you know, understand, and accept all of the risks of your surgery.
Doctors have a duty to disclose, in a reasonable manner, all significant medical information that a patient may need in order to decide whether he or she should undergo surgery.
It has become common place for doctors to disclose this information through an informed consent form, but some question whether that type of disclosure should be considered “reasonable.” The truth is that signing an informed consent form does not always mean that you were truly informed. Statistics show that only 40% of patients thoroughly understand what they read on an informed consent form. That means that 60% of people agree to operations without understanding the risks.
If you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice, you need to call me right away at 1 (800) 556-4769, so we can discuss your situation. I will help you determine whether your doctor informed you of the risks of your surgery in a reasonable manner, and whether you provided your doctor with informed consent.
It is important to know that signing an informed consent form does not preclude you from pursuing a medical malpractice claim for lack of informed consent. The following factors may render your signed informed consent form invalid:
- You signed the form after you were given medication that altered your ability to make decisions.
- You were unable to discuss the form with your doctor.
- The form wasn’t explained to you.
- You weren’t informed of all risks.
- A “reasonable” doctor would have informed you of additional risks.
Even if you sign an informed consent form, you are not consenting to medical malpractice. If a doctor’s treatment falls below the accepted standard of practice by a reasonable physician and causes injury or death to the patient, an informed consent form will not prevent a claim for medical malpractice.
Determining whether you have a claim for medical malpractice is complicated. I have been working with victims of medical negligence for almost four decades. I have the experience and resources necessary to help you navigate the legal process. Call me right away, and we can meet at a time and place that is convenient for you.
Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email / or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.