Medical professionals usually know which course of medical treatment is best suited for a particular injury or illness. However, a patient is the ultimate decider when it comes to the medical treatment that will be rendered. Why? One reason is that certain forms of medical treatment, including surgeries and medication, carry significant risks. If a patient is not aware of these risk, then he or she may make a decision without knowing that he or she could wind up seriously injured or even killed as a result.
In order to protect patients, medical professionals are required to obtain informed consent before pursuing any type of medical treatment. This means that a patient must receive all information about his or her medical condition, the treatment options and risks associated with each form of treatment. This information must be conveyed in language that is easily understood by the patient. Also, the information must be thorough enough that the patient is considered fully informed before making his or her decision.
Generally speaking, if a doctor goes beyond the scope of this informed consent, then a patient may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against that doctor. In order to succeed on one of these claims, a patient must show that the doctor in fact performed some sort of medical treatment without informed consent and that, had the patient knew of the risks of the course of treatment that was pursued, he or she would have opted out of it.
Texas patients should be sure to ask their doctors questions to ensure that they fully understand the medical treatment options and their risks before deciding which option to pursue. However, in the event that a doctor either fails to inform a patient of the dangers of a particular course of treatment, or a doctor goes beyond the bounds of informed consent and injury results, victims should consider speaking with an attorney about pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit in hopes of recovering compensation for the damages that have befallen them.