When you have symptoms that worry you, you trust the doctor you visit will be able to explain what is causing them and the possible treatment options in detail. However, when they leave out essential information before you agree to a procedure or care plan, you may not know until it’s too late. This is considered a lack of informed consent and is a form of medical malpractice. If this has happened to you, you may be able to hold the negligent parties responsible with the help of a Harris County, Texas medical malpractice lawyer. Keep reading to learn more.
What Does It Mean for a Doctor to Provide Informed Consent?
When a doctor is discussing treatment options with a patient, it is vital that they disclose any information or factors that may influence the patient’s decision to receive the treatment. Doctors should also discuss alternative options, including the benefits and risks associated with other care plans. For example, if a doctor does not discuss the risk of paralysis associated with a procedure before operating, they can be held liable when the patient wakes up unable to move as they may not have consented to the surgery if they knew the risks involved.
It is also illegal for a doctor to treat a patient against their wishes. For example, if a patient is adamant about the kind of care they will receive, they are not allowed to manipulate the patient into giving consent to a different surgical option simply because the surgeon prefers that method.
Are There Any Exceptions?
In emergency situations where a patient is incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions, a doctor may need to perform life-saving treatment immediately. Because a patient is unable to communicate or understand what the doctor is saying, the doctor will not be able to discuss treatment options and must take action. Generally, as long as a reasonable patient would not deny the care they will provide, a doctor can continue life-saving measures.
However, there may be slight exceptions where a doctor, who is aware of a patient’s non-consent to a specific treatment, may use an emergency as grounds to perform the procedure. They cannot abuse this exception.
What Happens if a Texas Doctor Does Not Offer Adequate Information?
If you are undergoing treatment and your doctor fails to provide the necessary information for you to make an informed decision about the course of your treatment, you can likely sue for negligence and medical malpractice. Though it is uncommon, as many doctors take this very seriously, it does happen very often.
When injured at the hands of a negligent doctor or healthcare provider, Davis & Davis can help. Our dedicated team will work tirelessly to help you get the justice you deserve. We believe no one should be the victim of an unauthorized medical procedure resulting in injury. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.