A doctor might think that by placing a consent form before a patient and then getting the patient’s signature on that same form, he or she has obtained conformed consent for a specific procedure. Actually, informed consent consists of far more than a simple signature.
Actions that should accompany the request for a signature:
The patient’s doctor should explain any risks associated with a planned procedure. If the doctor’s explanations do not satisfy the patient, the physician ought to seek-out a patient that has undergone the same procedure. The patient’s explanation might prove more assuring than the doctor’s.
Sometimes the best explanation fails to answer all of a patient’s questions. A physician should not ask a patient with unanswered questions to sign a consent form. The person that signs such a form should be able to answer the questions posed by others, those that seek information on a given test or operation.
That fact might be used in a medical malpractice case. A judge and jury could be asked to listen to a patient’s description of the steps taken during a given test or operation. The jury could then read a doctor’s description for the same event. In that way, the judge and jury could gain a better feel for the doctor’s readiness to go after an acceptable consent form.
Understand the essential feature of a winnable, medical malpractice case
A patient does not have a winnable medical malpractice case unless he or she suffered a worsening condition, following completion of the mentioned medical error. The injury lawyer in Medicine Hat witnessing of an error does not guarantee a patient’s ability to launch a medical malpractice charge against a doctor or other healthcare professional. That witnessed error has to trigger a worsening of the same patient’s condition.
What is expected of patients?
Patients are supposed to read a consent form thoroughly before signing it. Patients that fail to do so weaken any a personal injury case, should any of those same patients get injured during the course of any given procedures.
An exception to the rules outlined in the preceding paragraphs:
There is one time when a doctor can move ahead with any planned test, or even with a surgical procedure, in the absence of a patient’s informed consent. That is when an emergency situation introduces a demand for the performance of that same test or surgical procedure. At such a time, the patient’s life could hang in the balance.
Taking steps to save a life holds more importance than any effort to go after a patient’s informed consent. A problem’s accurate diagnosis provides doctors with better guidelines, and reduces the risks that could have arisen from a considered treatment.