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What is informed consent?

There are different types of medical malpractice claims and a claim based on a lack of informed consent is one type. Informed consent is an important part of the medical process and of receiving medical care and treatment. In circumstances when there is no informed consent, a medical malpractice claim for unauthorized treatment may follow. So, what is informed consent and why is it so important?

Informed consent is essentially the recognized right of patients to receive information related to their medical condition; diagnosis; treatment options; the risks associated with potential treatments; alternative treatments and the risks associated with them; the potential consequences of doing nothing; and the patient's prognosis when making a decision concerning their medical treatment or care.

The information the patient is provided with must be in plain language that the patient can clearly understand and must allow them to make an informed decision about their healthcare and medical treatment. Provided the patient has received the required information, their consent to treatment may be presumed to be informed. Improper consent before a procedure, such as no consent or consent that is not properly informed, may lead to a medical malpractice claim for damages, depending on the circumstances.

A medical malpractice claim based on a lack of informed consent can be complex, so it is helpful for victims of medical malpractice to understand how the legal process works. Medical malpractice legal options are available to protect victims of medical malpractice, help them receive compensation for the damages they have suffered and hold a negligent medical care provider accountable when they have caused harm.

Source: FindLaw, "Informed Consent and Unauthorized Treatment," Accessed April 27, 2018

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