You have control over what happens to your body. That’s important to remember in the medical context because doctors shouldn’t be providing you with treatment without obtaining informed consent. Informed consent is given when you agree to a course of treatment, but only after being informed of several things. Your doctor should advise you of all of your treatment options and explain the risks and potential rewards of each. He or she should also discuss your current prognosis and what could happen if you choose to forego treatment altogether.
Why does informed consent matter?
There are a number of reasons. First, the informed consent requirement allows you to retain control over your health and your decision-making power. That way you know exactly what you’re getting from your healthcare provider.
Second, informed consent sets the boundaries within which a doctor can work, meaning that it’s easier for you to spot if errors have been made. Medical professionals who go beyond the scope of informed consent can be held accountable for their actions, especially if injuries result.
Third, informed consent shows that you take your health and safety seriously and only agreed to limited medical services after thoughtful consideration. In a medical malpractice case, this can help a jury understand the egregiousness of the doctor’s actions that left you harmed.
What Should You Do after a doctor goes beyond the scope of informed consent?
You should probably contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options. To succeed on a medical malpractice claim you’ll need to show that your doctor owed you a duty of care, the applicable standard of care was breached, and that the breach of care led to your injuries. While a doctor going beyond the scope of informed consent can be powerful evidence in one of these cases, you can’t stop there. Instead, you’ll have to push forward to show what the applicable standard of care should be, present additional evidence of medical error, and demonstrate exactly how and how extensively you have been injured. This must all be shown while combating aggressive defense attorneys and their various tactics.
If this is a little intimidating to you or you just want to ensure the best outcome possible for your case, then consider speaking with a legal advocate.