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Don’t Gamble With Your Health! Learn What Medical “Informed Consent” Really Means For You.

Clinicians_in_Intensive_Care_UnitYou are not a medical professional.  But, you’re a smart person with at least average ability to understand instructions and information.  Guess what?  If you blindly sign all those forms they give you at the doctor’s office, your intelligence will be used to pin all the risks from any medical procedure on you.  This article explain how patients are duped with administrative forms and what you can do to avoid being a victim.

What Usually Happens

It’s not uncommon for patients to experience a bad outcome from medical treatment or a surgical procedure. Depending on the severity of the problem, patients understandably would like a monetary remedy.  Sadly, the fight often is taken right back to the patient.  And the challenge starts long before you even talk to a medical professional.  It starts right at the front desk.  Here’s how.

You know all that paperwork you have to sign before you even get in to see a nurse, physician’s assistant, or doctor?  Hidden in all those words and all that paper is consent language.  What does consent mean?

  • Consent allows the doctor – and anyone else in the doctor’s office – to perform medical procedures on you.
  • You are usually signing away your life, or at least the right to so-called informed consent, when you sign standard consent forms.
  • You are usually absolving everyone in the doctor’s office of any responsibility for anything that goes wrong. 

What’s So Important About “Informed Consent”?

Informed Consent is much more than having a patient sign a form.  Informed Consent means you understand the proposed treatment or procedure and its risks to you.  Properly obtained Informed Consent shifts the risk (and responsibility) for the outcome of your medical treatment from the medical practice to you. That’s right: properly obtained, Informed Consent shifts the risk, responsibility, and decision for treatment, to YOU – the person who will ultimately live with, or die because of – the consequences.

This is why understanding Informed Consent is so critical.  True Informed Consent means YOU – not any medical professional – assume the risks and responsibilities for undergoing a particular course of medical treatment or surgical procedure. 

So, What Is True “Informed Consent”?

“Informed Consent” is the permission you give to medical professionals allowing for medical treatment or a surgical procedure AFTER you have been advised of the risks or hazards of undergoing the treatment or procedure.  To be considered Informed Consent, the advice has to be given to you in language that could influence a reasonable person in deciding whether to give permission for going ahead with the medical treatment or surgical procedure.

  • To make an informed decision about whether to give your permission, you need information about the treatment or procedure and the risks associated with it.
  • Informed Consent addresses the information you receive and how it is provided to you.
  • Informed Consent takes place before any treatment or procedure occurs. 

The Texas Informed Consent Statute

Texas has a specific law governing Informed Consent. It is found in the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Title 4, Chapter 74, Subchapter C. 

Additional Informed Consent Considerations

The Texas Informed Consent statute is only one aspect of assessing whether you have received sufficient information for Informed Consent.  There are other important standards, including the physician standard.  The physician standard is the responsibility physicians have to disclose information that a reasonable physician would disclose to a patient.

Bottom Line:  True Informed Consent means you are responsible for most consequences of a medical-treatment disaster.  Have you or your loved ones truly given Informed Consent to a medical procedure?  If you have doubt or questions, contact our law office.

Concerns regarding health care you have received? Don’t wait – the situation won’t improve with time.  The good news is, by taking prompt, early action, you are in the best position to ensure a positive outcome.  DON’T WAIT.  Contact the Law Office of Robert B. Goss, P.C. today to a FREE consultation.

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