In an effort to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits, many doctors will obtain your explicit consent prior to performing medical procedures. Typically, express consent signifies that a patient has signed waivers or other documentation explicitly granting the doctor permission to perform an operation or surgery.
What About Implied Consent?
In certain instances, a medical professional will proceed with what is known as implied consent. When a patient complies with a doctor’s or nurse’s request or command, implied consent is typically asserted. For instance, implied consent could be argued if a nurse asks you to roll up your sleeve so she can give you a shot, and you comply.
A second instance of implied consent would be when a doctor must perform an additional surgical manoeuvre during the course of a primary operation in order to save your life or improve its efficacy. Without having time to consult with you and obtain your express and/or informed consent, the doctor assumes you consent based on your willingness to undergo the initial operation.
However, in some instances, doctors will require your explicit consent for additional surgeries that may be necessary during the initial procedure.
Keys to Consent
Some individuals have found it difficult to retain the information a physician has provided about a particular procedure. In order to be well-informed about any surgery you may undergo, it is essential that you take and read all the literature your doctor provides.
Additionally, you should do your best to recall every time you gave implied consent during interactions with your doctor, and you should keep meticulous records of every time you gave express consent. If you have a comprehensive paper trail and can demonstrate that something happened to you during surgery or after a procedure that was not explained to you, it can have a significant impact on your case if you decide to pursue legal action in the future.
An Attorney Can Help You Explore Your Legal Options
Understanding the distinction between informed, express, and implied consent can help you protect your patient rights. If you signed waivers or other documents giving your express consent but later realised you didn’t fully comprehend what you were agreeing to, you may have a medical malpractice claim against your healthcare provider.
However, medical malpractice cases are extremely complex and must be litigated with the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney. A competent attorney will be able to evaluate your claim, investigate what was said and done (and what was not said or done), and determine the best course of action.
A skilled attorney will advocate on your behalf and work to hold the doctors or nurses responsible for your injuries accountable. Because New York law is intended to protect medical providers from meritless lawsuits, it takes an experienced attorney to articulate a valid claim effectively.
Doctors and nurses cannot guarantee a positive outcome in all cases, as they are also human and susceptible to error. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, you are entitled to compensation.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.