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What is informed consent and why is it important?

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Going through a medical procedure can be a stressful and scary experience, especially if it is a new one. You want to know as much as possible about what exactly is going to be done, the risks, side effects and potential outcomes.

You have a right to information

You have a legal right to know this information under New York’s informed consent laws. Informed consent is an agreement between you and your medical provider that you were told about the benefits and risks of any treatment or procedure.

You also have the right to know about any alternative options there are to treat your condition. The purpose of informed consent laws is to make sure that you have all the right information to make the best choice about your medical care.

Not having informed consent could be dangerous

Informed consent is important because you may say yes to a medical procedure without knowing all the risks involved. For example, if you have epilepsy, you should be told that a certain procedure could trigger seizures.

You may not know this and go ahead with the procedure, then have a seizure and experience severe or long-term damages. A doctor, nurse or other medical provider has a legal duty to provide you with this type of information and answer any questions you may have before beginning any procedure.

Pursuing a medical malpractice claim

Not getting informed consent from a patient is a form of medical negligence. You will usually have to sign an informed consent document stating that you have been told about all of the benefits and risks of the treatment and are choosing to go forward with it.

If you go through with a medical procedure and have a bad outcome because you did know about the risks involved, you might have a claim for medical malpractice. A successful claim could provide you and your loved ones with compensation.

Proving negligence is challenging and depends on the facts of each case. Legal professionals have the knowledge and experience necessary to properly analyze a case.