Malpractice Attorneys in Maryland: Understanding Informed Consent in MarylandAugust 16, 2012
Receiving medical care involves at least two people — a patient and a physician. The conversation between doctor and patient involves history, diagnosis, and treatment. Sometimes that conversation is too brief and a patient is injured without understanding what happened.
Informed consent is a term used to describe the obligation of a health care provider to inform a patient of modes of treatment available to him or her, along with benefits and risks associated with those options. Informed consent is required for participation in research studies as well as receipt of individual treatment.
Unfortunately, in some cases, patients are not fully informed of possible negative consequences of a procedure or treatment, or not educated about options they might otherwise have chosen. In other words, my clients injured during a procedure were denied their right to meaningfully participate in their own health care choices.
There are occasions when implied consent is not required, including:
- Emergency. Consent may not be possible in an emergency setting where serious injury or death could result from delay.
- Inability. Individuals incapacitated by age or other cause may be unable to provide informed consent on their own behalf.
Informed consent is important. Be a good advocate for yourself or loved one when medical diagnosis and procedures are required. When you undergo treatment, read the consent before you sign. Ask questions and understand the options and consequences before you. If you do not understand, make sure the conversation does not end too soon. Contact the malpractice attorneys in Maryland at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. immediately for more legal information and a free consultation.