Most people know that medical procedures almost always involve some risk.
But when a medical professional fails to explain a specific procedure’s dangers to a patient and the patient is injured, that professional may be liable for their injuries.
A patient may file an informed consent lawsuit to recover damages in some cases.
They may file an informed consent medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professional or hospital or both.
If you were denied informed consent and suffered an injury, Poulos & Coates, LLP, can help.
We are the only law firm in New Mexico with a lawyer who is also a doctor (JD/MD) working on every medical malpractice case.
We understand informed consent law and are proud to share more than 70 years of combined medical malpractice experience.
Our proven track record and standards say it best; when you come to Poulos & Coates, you can rest assured that you and your case are in excellent hands.
What Does Informed Consent Mean?
Informed consent is when a healthcare provider educates a patient about a procedure or a treatment’s risks, explains the benefits of the procedure or treatment, and offers any available alternatives.
Medical professionals are responsible for sharing this information with their patients before all procedures. Knowing and understanding the known risks is crucial to a patient’s decision to undergo the treatment.
There are two types of informed consent, “express” and “implied.”
Express consent occurs when a medical professional informs the patient of all risks, benefits, and alternatives involved in a specific treatment or procedure.
The medical professional must also give the patient the opportunity to discuss their concerns. And in turn, the patient must expressly agree to the specific procedure based on that information.
Almost every non-emergency procedure requires a patient’s written informed consent.
Implied consent means that a patient’s consent to treatment is inferred from the circumstances.
In many cases, a patient implicitly consents to non-surgical medical treatments and procedures merely by showing up and seeking care.
Can a Medical Procedure Be Performed Without Consent?
Implied consent may also occur in emergency medical situations, particularly if the patient is unconscious.
When a patient requires emergency care to survive, the doctrine of implied consent usually applies. The doctrine of implied consent essentially allows a provider to treat a patient without express consent to save their life.
A medical professional may also forgo informed consent or decide to withhold specific details in rare cases.
This can happen when a patient’s state of mind is so disordered that they cannot understand the specifics of the procedure.
When a medical practitioner withholds information or fails to obtain consent, they must clearly demonstrate valid reasons. If they cannot, their actions are a violation of informed consent.
Children are the other exception to the informed consent rule. Children under 17 cannot legally provide informed consent.
As such, their parents or legal guardians must consent to treatments or procedures on their behalf. In this case, the applicable term is not “informed consent” but “informed permission.”
Call Poulos & Coates, LLP Today
The consequences of not getting informed consent can be tremendous for a patient and may result in an informed consent lawsuit.
With over 125 jury trials under our belt and more than $300 million in recovery for our clients, we’re here to fight beside you for just compensation.