Medical malpractice can take many forms. While many people may think of surgical errors or mistakes in making diagnoses when they hear the term “medical malpractice,” there are numerous other forms of error and negligence that can lead to preventable patient injuries. Among these are medical malpractice lawsuits that stem from situations where medical professionals performed unauthorized procedures or treatment. Medical malpractice cases involving violations of patient consent are commonly referred to as lack of consent claims.
Consent is one of the basic legal principles associated with the practice of medicine. By law, physicians and other medical providers must obtain a patient’s consent before they treat them. Patient consent can take two forms:
- Informed Consent – Also known as express consent, informed consent is a patient’s explicit agreement to treatment, and it is usually make in writing. In order for consent to be considered informed consent, medical professionals must uphold their duty of informing patients about the procedure or treatment, and any risks inherent to the procedure and treatment. Surgeries and other medical endeavors should generally not happen unless a patient has been adequately informed about potential risks and has signed a consent form.
- Implied Consent – There are situations where it is implied that a patient is agreeing to care from a medical provider, such as calling a doctor for an appointment, physical gestures, arriving at a time planned time prior to treatment, and complying with pre-surgical or treatment protocol, such as not having food or drink before a procedure. Additionally, health care providers can treat patients who require treatment as an emergency, and may not be able to provide their informed consent.
Lack of patient consent claims are typically centered on a patient who suffered harm in a procedure for which they did not provide their informed consent. Common examples include:
- Wrong site / wrong patient surgery – Wrong site surgeries involve physicians who operate on the wrong part of the body, such as the right side when a procedure should have been performed on the left. Similarly, wrong patient procedures involve a patient having a surgery they may not need and did not consent to. While both of these errors are rooted in disorganization on the part of medical providers, they also involve a lack of patient consent. A patient who consents to a surgery on their left arm, for example, did not consent to surgery on their right arm.
- Complications – Lack of consent claims can also stem from situations where complications arise that were not discussed with a patient, were made to sound less serious than a patient had been informed, or were contradictory to the information they were provided and consented to. Doctors must discuss potential risks and complications, and they must be included on consent forms. If a patient experiences a complication they were improperly informed about, they may not have undergone the procedure in the first place had they known of the true nature of the risks involved.
Medical malpractice cases involving a lack of patient consent can be challenging legal matters, which is why they demand the attention of proven attorneys. At the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg, our team is led by Attorney Marshall Silberberg, a nationally recognized lawyer who has secured numerous successful results on behalf of patients who suffered preventable harm at the hands of health care providers.
As a former defense attorney for doctors and hospitals for nearly 30 years, Mr. Silberberg leverages his insight into the “other side” to help clients identify when mistakes and violations occur, and how they can best pursue financial compensation for their damages by filing a medical malpractice claim. Over the years, Attorney Silberberg has tired more than 200 medical malpractice cases to trial and has led our team in recovering more than half a billion dollars in compensation for clients. We are prepared to immediately help victims and families throughout Orange County and the surrounding areas of California.
If you or someone you love has suffered harm as a result of a medical procedure or treatment that you did not consent to, you may have grounds to file a claim for compensation. Our firm is available to review your case free of charge, discuss your rights and the legal process, and explain what we can do to help. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.