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Why is informed consent important in medical malpractice cases?

This blog has talked about how Granite City, Illinois, residents and others who live in the eastern suburbs of Saint Louis may have the right to seek compensation from the doctors after a misdiagnosis or other outright mistake leaves them in a worsened medical condition.

However, what these people might not realize is that they may still have a medical malpractice case if a procedure does not go as planned but they were not warned of the risks beforehand. This is true even if the doctor performs the procedure flawlessly from a technical perspective.

In other words, one of a doctor's basic duties is to make they communicate effectively to their patients what they are doing, what they expect to achieve by doing it and what the possible benefits and risks of the procedure are. Moreover, the doctor has to go over reasonable alternatives to the procedure, including the option of doing nothing at all.

The process of the doctor's communicating the information to his or her patient and getting the patient's approval to do the procedure is called obtained "informed consent." The giving of informed consent gives the patient the ability to make a fully informed decision about their personal health, and it also ensures that a patient enters a medical procedure with eyes wide open.

After all, just about any medical procedure has risks, and the best a doctor can do for his or her patient is let them know about those risks and decide freely whether or not to accept them. Should a doctor fail in this important obligation, and a patient wind up harmed by a treatment they would not have accepted had they been fully aware, the patient may be eligible to obtain compensation.

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