Can I Still Recover Damages if I Signed a Consent Form?
Surgeries are performed on thousands of patients across the country every day. While many of these surgeries are successful, enabling the patient to live a more comfortable, productive life, there are times when the doctors and nurses in charge of these operations go outside of the accepted and appropriate methods and procedures for these surgeries, causing pain and suffering to their patients and curtailing their chances of a full recovery. While medical success is rarely guaranteed, going outside the established standards of procedure or beyond the consent given by the patient can cause unnecessary harm and risk to the patient and can give rise to a case of medical malpractice.
What is a consent form?
Most hospitals and doctors provide their patients with a consent form, obtaining approval from the patient for the operation they are about to perform, as well as any other operation that may become necessary. Before signing, the doctor should provide the patient with a detailed description of the operation, the risks it involves, and the risks involved with not undergoing the procedure. This puts the patient in a position to provide informed consent about whether or not he or she wants to allow the doctor to operate. In fact, the only time a doctor is allowed to operate without consent is in an emergency situation or when it would be overly harmful to a patient not to operate.
Can I recover even if I signed a valid consent form?
Under certain circumstances, you can recover damages even if you signed a consent form. For example, if you can show that your doctor inadequately informed you of the risks and benefits of an operation or that they misrepresented material aspects of the operation, you may make a case for compensation. In these circumstances, you may still need to prove that had the doctor adequately informed you, a reasonable person in your situation would not have elected to undergo the operation.
Even with a valid consent form, you can still recover compensation under a theory of medical malpractice. The law does not excuse a doctor from liability, even with consent, if the doctor deviates from the established standards and practices of the profession during your operation. This represents reckless or negligent behavior on the part of the doctor, even if their intentions were in your best interest. You may also be able to prove that the physician went beyond your consent in performing the operation.
You place an enormous amount of trust in those responsible for your health and well-being. When this trust is violated, the resulting injuries can be devastating. If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorney, call The Rich Firm at 1-888- RICH-LAW (742-4529). We build relationships on trust, integrity, and truthfulness, and we advocate for our clients aggressively and diligently. Call today to learn how we can help.