In a medical context, informed consent refers to the process of receiving information from a doctor about your current prognosis, medical situation and treatment options. A doctor must also give you a clear run-down of the potential rewards and possible risks associated with each choice.
Only after having enough information can you, the patient, say that you have made a decision with informed consent. But why is this important in the first place?
Maintaining control over your body
The American Cancer Society breaks down informed consent in a medical context in great detail. As mentioned above, this is the way you keep and maintain control over your own body, which is crucial freedom. The requirement of informed consent is of vital importance for that reason: it lets you exercise your decision-making abilities and keep control over your health while understanding what you get from your doctor fully.
Giving doctors boundaries
It gives the doctor boundaries within which to work, which simultaneously makes it easier for you to spot any potential mistakes or errors. Finally, it shows that you prioritize and care for your own health and safety, as you only accept services after careful consideration. If you take a malpractice case to court, this will prove to the jury that the doctor acted egregiously against you.
In order to cement a medical malpractice case, however, you must show more than a doctor’s breach of your informed consent. You also need to show evidence of the medical error, prove its impact on you and show the extent of your injury. This is why it is crucial to have an attorney who can represent you fully.