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Can doctors still be liable if I get worse during a drug trial?

Needing medical attention is scary. You know your life may be on the line if you do not get care, but there is always the hope that there is some intervention that will alleviate your situation.

When there is no cure for your condition, or the traditional treatments are not working, you may have the possibility of participating in a drug trial. While there are risks associated with being part of a trial, your medical team must still give quality care.

Here is what you should consider if you are thinking about a drug trial as a treatment option.

At your own risk

Drug trials are risky. While the medication or treatment may have gone through several test phases, it is nerve-wracking knowing you could be the participant who helps them discover a new side effect or other negative effects of the treatment.

There is a certain amount of risk with any treatment, but significantly more if that treatment is still being proven. Make sure you understand all the possible outcomes if you pursue this course of treatment.

There’s only so much liability you can sign away

Before you continue, the doctor will probably make it clear that you are assuming a lot of risk by taking part in a drug trial. The doctor may even make it so clear that you assume the medical team will not be liable, regardless of the care you receive.

The truth, however, is that you cannot sign away all the hospital’s liability. Even when you are assuming the risk of trying a new treatment or medication, the hospital could still be negligent, causing you injury.

Before you sign a waiver for a drug trial, make sure you understand the risk you are assuming and what obligations the hospital still has for providing quality care. Make sure you know your options and the resources that are available if you are injured.

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