Informed Consent in Medical Procedures

Ensuring Your Right to Informed Consent in Medical Procedures with Dressie Law Firm

Get the inside scoop on informed consent in medical procedures. Learn the legal and ethical requirements, your rights, and how the Dressie Law Firm can assist you. Book an appointment with us today.

ezgif.com webp to jpg (3)
ezgif.com gif maker
aaforjusticelogo 1920w

Informed Consent and Medical Malpractice

Medical professionals are required to obtain consent from patients prior to providing certain types of medical care. If you will be receiving medical treatment, you must understand what informed consent means.

Healthcare providers have an ethical and legal obligation to obtain their patient’s informed consent before major medical procedures. If a patient is injured due to medical errors during a treatment done without their informed consent, they may be entitled to financial compensation.

A medical malpractice attorney from Dressie Law Firm can guide you on how informed consent plays into medical malpractice claims and answer your questions. Schedule your free consultation today, or alternatively, check out our medical malpractice FAQs to get answers.

    What Is Informed Consent?

    In the medical context, informed consent refers to the process by which a healthcare provider ensures that a patient agrees to undertake a medical procedure or treatment and fully understands its potential risks, benefits, and alternatives. Before a healthcare provider can perform a medical intervention, surgery, or treatment, they must obtain the patient’s informed consent.

    This involves explaining the nature of the procedure, its purpose, the potential risks and benefits, alternative treatment options, and the anticipated outcomes. After receiving this information, the patient can then make an informed and voluntary decision about whether to proceed with the proposed medical intervention.

    In Georgia, a patient must be provided with a written informed consent form to read and sign before any of the medical treatments as described in Rule 360-14-.03 of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia.

    The concept of informed consent is rooted in the principle of respecting a patient’s autonomy and right to make decisions about their own healthcare. If you sustain an actual form of harm because a medical professional failed to obtain your informed consent, failed to inform you of the risks associated with the treatment, or performed a different treatment than the one you consented to, you can sue them for medical malpractice.

    An experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney at Dressie Law Firm can help you understand your rights and legal options if you sustained injuries due to medical malpractice. We can guide you in seeking fair compensation.

    Key Components of Informed Consent

    There are three vital elements to obtaining informed consent: disclosure of information, the patient’s capacity to understand and consent, and voluntariness.

    Disclosure of Information

    Healthcare providers have a responsibility to disclose sufficient information for their patients to make informed decisions. They must disclose information regarding your diagnosis, the proposed treatment, the potential benefits and risks of the specific procedure, and alternative treatments.

    • Diagnosis: You must be informed of the name and nature of your ailment in a language you understand. 

    • Proposed treatment: Your healthcare provider must explain the proposed treatment or procedure and ensure you fully understand it.

    • Benefits and risks associated with the options: Healthcare providers must tell you the expected benefits and risks related to the treatment option recommended to you, except for those that pass for common knowledge or remote risks.

    • Alternative treatments: You must be informed about any alternative treatments to the one recommended by your doctor. This includes the benefits and risks of refusing treatment.

    Patient’s Capacity to Consent

    The patient must possess the mental capacity to understand the information provided. Healthcare providers are responsible for assessing the patient’s ability to engage in the informed consent process. This assessment ensures that the patient is in a state where they can make informed decisions about their healthcare.

    If you are unable to understand or consent, you can appoint a representative, also called a surrogate, to make decisions on your behalf.

    Healthcare providers use strategies like decision worksheets and readable consent forms to facilitate the patient’s understanding and decision-making process. They may also ask their patients to repeat what they heard to evaluate a patient’s understanding.

    Voluntariness

    The element of voluntariness is core to the principle of informed consent. The choice to proceed with treatment must be a voluntary decision. Healthcare providers should not exert undue influence or coercion to obtain informed consent.

    When Is Informed Consent Required?

    In general, informed consent is necessary when a procedure or treatment presents a greater risk or number of risks. Georgia Code §31-9-6.1 and Rule 360-14-.03 of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia both cover the cases where informed consent of patients is required.

    Some specific medical procedures that require informed consent include:

    • Chemotherapy or radiation to treat cancer

    • Most surgeries, even when they are not performed in a hospital

    • Use of general, spinal, or major regional anesthesia

    • Advanced medical tests and procedures, such as biopsy of the liver

    • High-risk medical treatment like treatment with corticosteroids or opioid treatments

    • Certain vaccinations

    • Amniocentesis

    • Childbirth interventions, such as episiotomy or forceps delivery

    • Blood transfusions

    • Any procedure that involves the intravenous or intraductal injection of a contrast material

    • Clinical trials and psychological research that involve human research subjects

    • Blood tests such as genetic testing or an HIV test

    It’s important to note that informed consent and disclosure are not required in cases of emergency.

    Your Rights as a Patient and How to Protect Them

    You must provide informed consent before undergoing certain procedures or treatments. Your healthcare team has an obligation to inform you of your diagnosis and the risks and benefits of any proposed medical intervention.

    You should ask your doctor any questions you have about your condition and the treatment options available. If you are required to provide written consent, be sure to read the informed consent document before signing. It is important that you fully understand your options before making a medical decision.

    If you believe a healthcare provider has violated your right to make an informed medical decision, you should reach out to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. An attorney can analyze your case and explain what a patient has to prove in a medical malpractice case. If you are a victim of medical malpractice or were denied informed consent before you underwent a medical procedure, you may be able to recover damages.

    Dressie Law Firm Can Help

    Informed consent has legal and ethical implications for you and your healthcare provider. Providers who fail to obtain a signed consent form from a patient before a major procedure can face legal consequences and professional liability.

    At Dressie Law Firm, our experienced attorneys can help you in matters regarding informed consent and effectively represent you in your medical malpractice lawsuit. Hiring a medical malpractice attorney can help relieve stress and maximize your chances of receiving justice.

    If you sustained injuries due to a breach of your informed consent right, let us work for you. Our attorneys can help you secure the best possible outcome for your injury claim. Book a free consultation with us today.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!