A patient is legally entitled to the information necessary to make informed decisions about the treatment he or she receives. Before performing any procedure or administering any treatment, a doctor is required to provide the patient a complete and thorough description of the treatment being offered, the risks and benefits of the proposed treatment, and all reasonable alternatives to the proposed treatment. This concept is known as informed consent. If a physician or other health care provider fails to obtain his patient's informed consent to a procedure, the physician may be liable for any harm that results to the patient.
Attorneys Representing Patients Injured By A Doctor's Failure To Obtain Informed Consent
At Garau Germano, P.C., we advocate on behalf of patients who have been injured as a result of a doctor's failure to obtain the patient's informed consent or informed consent for surgery. In Indiana, the requirement to obtain informed consent is imposed by statute. Indiana Code Sec. 34-18-13-3 requires Indiana physicians to obtain their patient's "informed consent" before any "treatment, procedure test, or examination" is performed by the physician. Under the statute, in order to obtain informed consent, the doctor must provide medical disclosure and advise the patient of:
- The general nature of the patient's condition
- The proposed treatment, procedure, examination or test
- The expected outcome of the treatment, procedure, examination or test
- The material risks of the treatment, procedure, examination or test
- The reasonable alternatives to the treatment, procedure, examination or test
If a doctor treats a patient without obtaining the patient's informed consent to the treatment and the patient is injured, the patient may have a malpractice claim against the doctor. The situation frequently arises when doctors fail to tell their patients of risks of or alternatives to proposed surgery.
Some examples of cases in which our lawyers have successfully represented patients in medical informed consent cases include:
- A physician fails to advise a patient that his thyroid condition can be safely and effectively treated without surgery. Believing that surgery is his only option, the patient undergoes surgery and suffers permanent and severe damage to his voice.
- An obstetrician fails to advise her patient that she has the option of a cesarean section when difficulty is encountered in the delivery of the patient's baby. The obstetrician proceeds with vaginal delivery, resulting in serious, permanent injury to the child.
When a doctor fails to obtain informed consent and an injury occurs, the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice. To learn more about informed consent and whether you have an informed consent claim, please contact our Indianapolis, Indiana, firm today at 317-643-4232 or toll free at 800-631-6743.