When Hawaiians go to the hospital they expect to receive appropriate and effective treatment. This may mean obtaining an accurate diagnosis, being administered the proper medication or undergoing the right kind of surgery. Yet, far too often medical professionals fail to live up to their responsibilities. When this happens, unsuspecting patients can be left with serious, sometimes life-threatening injuries.
One way medical malpractice occurs is by a medical professional providing care that is beyond the bounds of informed consent. Informed consent is when a patient agrees to a certain course of treatment, but only after being informed of his or her medical condition, the treatment options available to him or her, the risks associated with each type of treatment, the risks of receiving no treatment and his or her prognosis. This information must be conveyed to the patient in clear, easily understandable terms so that he or she knows exactly what type of care he or she is deciding on.
While most doctors obtain informed consent before moving forward with treatment, others simply neglect to do so. Yet, even those who obtain informed consent can commit medical malpractice if they proceed with a course of treatment that goes beyond the scope of that consent.
However, in order to succeed on a medical malpractice claim linked to lack of informed consent, an injured patient must show that treatment was, in fact, given without informed consent. In addition, they must show that he or she would have avoided the injuries in question by opting out of that treatment, if he or she had been fully informed of the treatment and its associated risks.
Medical malpractice can have powerful ramifications on an individual’s life. It can leave him or her with extensive physical, emotional and financial damages that can quickly become overwhelming. Fortunately, these victims may have legal recourse.