What is Informed Consent?
Informed consent is a fundamental ethical practice that the majority of states require for medical professionals before performing serious medical procedures or treatments on a patient. More often than not, a patient — or guardian in certain circumstances — will receive a form from their medical provider prior to the visit outlining what the treatment or procedure is, what the risks and benefits are, and if there are any alternative courses of treatment that can be performed.
Why It’s Important
Informed consent is a key component of medical procedures, as it allows the patient or guardian to understand all aspects of the treatment being given, consider the risks and benefits, and consent to the procedure. This creates a bond of trust between patient and provider and can protect each party from unforeseen outcomes.
When a patient gives informed consent, he or she is agreeing to undertake some of the ordinary risks that come with the treatment or procedure. However, the health care provider still has a duty to use reasonable care, best judgment, and follow the standards of practice in the profession. Informed consent is not an excuse for a health care provider to provide negligent treatment.
Open lines of communication during any kind of medical treatment is key, and informed consent from the patient ensures that they are making the decision based on reasonable understanding of what goes into it. If, for any reason, informed consent is not given for a specific procedure and the patient is injured or it is given and the health care provider is negligent, they may take legal action.
Questions About Your Right as a Patient? We Have Answers
Our North Carolina medical malpractice attorneys have over 35 years of combined experience protecting the rights of patients undergoing a variety of procedures. If you or a loved one has suffered from any kind of medical negligence, call Daniel, Holoman & Associates LLP today.