Calgary Medical Malpractice Lawyers Representing Patients Affected by Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
Before a medical professional can proceed with a procedure or a treatment, they must obtain informed consent from the patient (unless it is an emergency). A patient must always be made aware of what the process will entail, what recovery time may be, and about any risks or complications that may arise during or after. Once they have this information, the patient must consent to all of it.
Failure to obtain this consent can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. A physician or other medical professional may be found to be negligent if they do not adequately discuss risks with a patient or do not disclose risks that would otherwise cause a reasonable person in the patient’s circumstances to decline the procedure or treatment.
At Cuming & Gillespie, our team of award-winning medical malpractice lawyers have represented patients and pursued successful claims in situations where patients did not receive all the information necessary to make an informed decision about their treatment or procedure and were subsequently injured. For more than 20 years we have represented clients who have been negatively impacted by the actions or omissions of doctors and other health professionals.
What is Informed Consent and Why Must It Be Obtained?
Informed consent involves not only obtaining the patient’s permission to proceed with a treatment or procedure, but also providing as much information as a reasonable person in the patient’s position would need to make a decision regarding the procedure.
Doctors and other health care professionals must provide patients with details including:
- Information about the procedure or treatment itself;
- The expected benefits;
- Any possible risks and side effects;
- Alternative treatments available; and
- Any consequences to the patient if they do not receive the treatment.
The information provided by the doctor or medical professional must be accurate and impartial. If false information is given, and consent is obtained, the consent may not qualify as being informed. A patient must also have the capacity to understand the information provided by the doctor. Unless there is a reason to think otherwise, capacity to provide informed consent is assumed.
In the case of children, their parents must provide consent for them as they do not yet have the capacity to provide informed consent. Older children or teenagers may be able to provide consent for themselves, depending on the complexity and severity of the treatment.
Where a doctor or other medical professional fails to obtain informed consent from a patient, they may be responsible for any negative outcomes that arise from the procedure, regardless of whether they were negligent or made an error during the procedure itself.
Experience and Knowledge Lead to Successful Claims
If you or a loved one believes that you were injured during a procedure and were not informed of the risk that resulted in the injury, please call us today at 403-571-0555 or contact us online to book a free consultation. We will review your case and provide you with an assessment on whether you have a viable claim.