Informed Consent - How It Works
If you have undergone a surgical procedure but feel you were not fully informed about all of the facts relating to the treatment beforehand, this means you did not give your informed consent, and you may therefore be able to make a claim for compensation. The team at JMW has vast experience in dealing with cases like this, and can provide the assistance you need to maximise your chances of making a successful claim.
About Informed Consent
Informed consent is a legal term that means the patient is fully aware of all the facts and risks associated with the treatment they are about to undergo, and the alternatives available to them. A doctor must discuss the procedure with the patient in detail and ensure they understand all of these factors before agreeing to go ahead.
The facts that must be explained include:
- the details of the procedure or operation, and why the doctor believes it to be necessary
- the likely benefits of the procedure
- the risks involved
- what alternatives exist and what are the risks and benefits
- the risks and benefits if the patient does not undergo the procedure
If the doctor does not go through all of these issues adequately with the patient and the operation or procedure still goes ahead, then this lack of informed consent is considered a breach of duty by the doctor.
How can I make an informed consent claim?
When told of the need for surgery or a procedure to alleviate a medical condition, it can be a stressful time for the patient and their family, they often have no option but to trust the advice they are given, in the hope that the healthcare representative responsible for their care is advising them of the best course of action.
As such, it is essential that these individuals are fully informed of all the potential issues before they are asked to sign a consent form. In order to make an informed consent claim, you must be able to demonstrate that you would not have undergone the procedure if proper consent standards had been applied. This may be because you were unaware of all the risks involved with the procedure, or that you were not told about alternative methods that may have been less invasive.
If you think this has happened to you or a loved one, then it is important to seek specialist legal advice, which is where the medical law experts at JMW can help. We have a sophisticated understanding of this complex area of law and the steps that need to be taken to make a compensation claim; if you are eligible, we can provide you with the best possible chance of obtaining this for you.