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Unauthorized treatment may be medical malpractice

Ultimately, you are in control of your healthcare. Even if a medical professional has a potentially lifesaving treatment for your medical condition, you can choose to forego that treatment if you feel the risks are too high. This is the basic foundation of informed consent. Medical professionals are required to obtain informed consent before providing any medical treatment. Typically, this means that a doctor needs to tell a patient about the medical condition, available treatment options, the risks of undergoing those treatments and the potential outcomes of choosing those options.

Without informed consent, a doctor may not pursue a treatment option except in vary limited circumstances. Additionally, informed consent works kind of like a fence. When a patient consents to a certain treatment, medical professionals are confined to that treatment and cannot cross the fence, so to speak, into another treatment.

When a medical professional goes beyond informed consent or fails to obtain informed consent, then medical malpractice may have occurred, especially if injuries result. Those who have been injured by unauthorized treatment can suffer extensive damages, including a worsened medical condition, disfigurement, pain and suffering, incurred medical expenses and lost wages due to missed work. Fortunately, these losses may be recoverable via a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Yet, in order to succeed on one of these claims, a victim in these circumstances needs to show that their consent was never obtained, the consent was uninformed, or a medical professional performed beyond the bounds of the informed consent given. This may require utilizing expert testimony and medical evidence to a victim's advantage, which may necessitate the need for competent legal representation. Thus, those who wish to learn more about how the law may apply to their situation can think about contacting a legal professional of their choosing.

Source: FindLaw, "Informed Consent and Unauthorized Treatment," accessed on Jan. 23, 2017

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