Even routine health care procedures have inherent risks, some of which may have life-changing consequences. If patients aren’t fully informed of the dangers, they may be able to file a malpractice claim for even common negative side effects. To protect your practice and the financial future of your organization, health care lawyers urge every medical professional to understand the importance of informed consent.
A Brief Guide to Informed Consent
What Is Informed Consent?
Getting consent for medical treatment means much more than having a patient sign a form. Before undergoing a procedure, every patient should fully understand the process, along with the benefits and any expected risks. They should also be informed of the risks associated with forgoing the procedure and any other medical options that may be available. Patients should also have an opportunity to ask questions and make a decision about their own treatment.
Why Informed Consent Is So Important
Informed consent laws are designed to protect both the patients and health care providers from negative outcomes and legal action. If patients aren’t fully informed of the risks, they might make decisions they wouldn’t have made otherwise. For instance, they might have declined treatment if the risks were too high, or chosen an alternative with fewer side effects.
Failing to get informed consent can also expose your practice to expensive medical malpractice lawsuits, which could force you out of business. Patients who suffer negative outcomes may even be able to file a suit for normal complications if they weren’t informed of the risk beforehand. Whether you run a small independent practice or a major hospital, having a health care lawyer create a consistent informed consent process will prevent expensive lawsuits and ensure patients get the treatment they need.
Since 1948, the health care lawyers at Lee, Livingston, Lee, Nichols & Barron, P.C. have helped health care providers throughout Alabama navigate the complexities of the legal system. The firm serves as board counsel to Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan, as well as medical providers of all sizes. Visit their website to learn more about their medical representation services, get more tips and insight on Facebook, or call (334) 792-4156 for a consultation with a health care lawyer today.