Is lack of informed consent an act of negligence?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

Doctor errors, prescribing the wrong medicine, and misdiagnosing a condition represent three common examples of medical malpractice. West Virginia courtrooms might see several other reasons for malpractice claims, including ones focusing on a lack of informed consent. And yes, a patient denied the necessary informed consent might have a legitimate medical malpractice suit.

Understanding informed consent and malpractice

Physicians can’t rush through discussing care with a patient, and they shouldn’t present a partial picture. Informed consent involves providing a patient or a legal health care representative with all the information necessary to make a decision. Not telling a patient about the dangers of undergoing or not undergoing a procedure could be negligent.

Did the physician tell a patient about the risks, such as adverse reactions and the chance of infection? A patient might go through with a risky procedure and suffer consequences due to a lack of knowledge. Again, such situations might reflect negligence on a doctor’s part.

Moving forward and performing treatment without authorization is another example of a lack of informed consent. Informed consent may not be necessary when a life-threatening emergency occurs, but there are instances where authorization is a must.

Lack of informed consent and legal woes

Medical malpractice claims related to a lack of informed consent could involve procuring consent from a minor or someone incapable of making decisions. Legal statutes detail who can provide informed consent, and doctors and hospitals must abide by the law.

When someone suffers harm due to a doctor’s negligence, filing a medical malpractice claim might be necessary. A patient could suffer complications that result in additional expenses for care and treatment. A settlement might cover those expenses and possibly pay for pain and suffering as well.