There is one distinctive difference between informed consent and regular consent. Giving general consent means that you agree to undergoing a surgery or other procedure, and by giving that consent, you are essentially preventing your doctor from being at risk of criminal battery charges. After all, without consent, your doctor may as well be coming at you with a scalpel while you are still conscious and trying to get away.
Informed consent entails that you have not just consented to undergoing the procedure, but have also consented to undergoing it despite the associated risks. Your doctor can only obtain your informed consent, if they have explained all potential risks and consequences to you which may come along with the discussed procedure. If the doctor fails to get your informed consent, or if you are unable to give it, and something goes wrong, personal injury lawyer in Milton could file a medical malpractice claim against them. Usually, such cases are settled with negotiations but some go on trial if the settlement amount is not agreed upon. That is why it becomes important to have a good lawyer in your corner.
Which factors can prevent me from being able to give consent?
Just because somebody has given consent, does not mean that is automatically valid consent. There are external and internal factors which can invalidate somebody’s consent; things such as:
• severe mental illness
• mental disabilities
• being underage
• intoxication due to medication, drugs, or alcohol
• being in a high stress situation, i.e. in great pain or panic
• not being fully conscious
• being in labor
What does a doctor have to do to receive informed consent?
Informed consent comes with a set of prerequisites. For one, the doctor will need to explain the procedure to you, as well as all important associated risks and potential consequences. This means informing the patient about unlikely but serious risks, like permanent disability or death, as well as less severe, but common side-effects like nausea, dizziness, or headaches.
Should your doctor neglect to fully inform you about such matters, then they could be held legally liable for negligence. However, if your recovery is not impacted by such a minor side effect, it may be difficult to build a successful case. Extreme consequences, regardless of how rare they may be, will always need to be warned about. In the event that you weren’t informed and then suffered from such consequences, you will likely have a solid foundation for a lawsuit against the doctor or even against the hospital. This is the case even if the risk was explained, but not in a way that would be understandable for someone who has no medical knowledge.