People in Pennsylvania go to the doctor every day. There are many reasons people see the doctor and many times, fortunately, it is for preventive care or minor illnesses and injuries. However, no matter how routine or simple something may seem, there are risks associated with medications and medical procedures. Other procedures and surgeries come with much more serious risks and further injury or illness or even death could be an outcome.
While all medications and procedures have risks, since surgeries and other procedures have more serious risks, informed consent is needed prior to these serious procedures. These include performing surgery and the anesthesia needed for those surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy, blood transfusions, inserting surgical devices and administering experimental medication and devices.
Informed consent means obtaining consent after informing the patient of the elements of the procedure, the risks associated with it and the reasonable alternatives according to accepted medical practice. If the doctor does not and something goes wrong and the patient suffers further injury, they may commit medical malpractice and the patient could be entitled to compensation for the injuries. However, the doctor is only liable for not providing the required information if the patient can prove that they would not have undergone the procedure if they would have known the information prior to the procedure.
People undergo many different medical procedures every day in Pennsylvania. Many of these procedures have many risks associated with them and there may be alternatives to certain procedures. Ultimately medical decisions are in the patient’s hands though and the doctor must inform the patient of everything and receive their informed consent prior to the procedure. If they do not, they may be liable if something goes wrong. Experienced attorneys understand the requirements and may be a useful resource.
Source: codes.findlaw.com, “Pennsylvania Statutes Title 40 P.S. Insurance § 1303.504.504. Informed Consent” accessed on July 31, 2017