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The Importance of Patient Consent

In the health care industry, patient consent or informed consent is the process in which the patient and health care provider discuss a proposed medical treatment, including its risks, benefits, alternatives, and how it might cause harm. It is a vital element of the relationship a patient has with his or her health care provider and matter of patient safety. As proof of the patient’s informed consent, a document should be provided, which the patient must sign to verify that he or she had a discussion about the proposed medical treatment.

What is Informed Consent?

The process of informed consent is quite detailed, involving seven elements:

  • A discussion regarding the patient’s role in making a decision for treatment
  • A discussion that describes the clinical issue and suggested treatment
  • A discussion regarding alternative treatments or the option of no treatment
  • A discussion about the risks and benefits and a comparison of these risks and benefits to alternatives
  • A discussion of any uncertainties
  • Assessment of the patient’s understanding
  • Obtaining the patient’s consent to his or her preferred treatment

This process is not only about getting a signature on a document, but about ensuring medical professionals fully explain diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes and is certain their patients fully comprehend the information. It is as much a legal issue as it is an ethical one. When a medical professional fails to perform this crucial step, resulting in adverse consequences, a patient can hold him or her accountable.

Fort Lauderdale Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you or a family member was the victim of medical malpractice, it is crucial to seek the aid of a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. At Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale legal team has been taking on these types of cases since 1955, many of which have set new policies and procedures in the industry. We will fight to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today at (954) 467-8800 for a free consultation.