Even the simplest medical procedures carry a degree of risk for the patient. When doctors decide what treatment to recommend, they should weigh the risks involved in the treatment with the benefits if the treatment is successful.
They may have to factor in secondary considerations, like a patient’s other medical issues. What is perfectly reasonable for one person may have far more risk for someone with underlying medical issues.
When your doctor recommends a cutting-edge drug or surgery, they typically need your consent to move forward with that treatment. All too often, medical professionals focus on success rates and the positive consequences of treatments or drugs without discussing the known risks with a patient. Failing to tell you the truth about the risks could be a form of medical malpractice.
Patients need information to offer informed consent
You may not realize until after you develop hearing loss, for example, that the antibiotic your doctor gave you has a historical association with causing hearing damage. The failure to tell you about risks, failure rates and side effects is possibly a kind of medical malpractice,
Informed consent is important in modern health care. Patients have the right to make informed decisions about the treatment that they receive or approve for loved ones. The physician recommending certain medications or treatments to you should make a point of discussing the positive and negative aspects of their recommendation. Especially if you would not have taken the medication or approved the surgery had you known the risks, your doctor’s lack of disclosure could be a form of medical malpractice.
From the percentage of cases where the treatment fails to the most common and most severe reactions or possible side effects of the treatment, a patient should know the negatives so that they can make the right choice for their personal circumstances. When a doctor glosses over the risks, they do a disservice to their patients who can no longer make an informed decision about the treatment that they undergo.
How do you prove a lack of disclosure?
All too often, physicians feel like handing over a pamphlet to someone is all they need to do to minimize their own liability when recommending treatments or medications. Your patient records might show that you didn’t sign any paperwork related to the treatment affirming that you were aware of the risks. The physician’s history could also help you build a claim, as other patients may have complained about their lack of disclosure previously.
Fighting back after a negative medical outcome could help compensate you for your future care expenses and the other losses you have suffered because of a doctor’s medical malpractice.