Healthcare consumers, like other buyers of services, must know their rights. Anyone who has ever been admitted to a hospital, or had a surgical procedure has been asked to sign Consent Forms. These forms are typically pre-printed, with very small font, and are chock-full of medical/legal jargon. It should be stressed to the wise health care consumer these documents should be read prior to signature. Usually the contemplated procedure or surgery is handwritten in by the health care provider.
McKeen & Associates, P.C. has litigated several cases where the patient has not agreed to the actual procedure/surgery performed. The patient should always read of the Consent Form. Ensure the contemplated surgery/procedure is spelled out. If there are any surgical procedures that are listed, which have not been discussed, or if the medical jargon is confusing do not hesitate to ask questions. The Consent form you sign may be presumed to have been read and understood
Every Consent form lists possible complications of the admission/surgery. In Michigan, the patient never consents to a complication that happens due to carelessness or medical negligence. Do not ever presume a listed complication or a Consent form would bar you from legal recourse. Very few serious complications are unavoidable. It is very common for medical experts to disagree about whether a particular complication is an “acceptable complication” or an “avoidable complication”.
With every choice in life, it is best to know your rights and options. Consumers of medical services have the right to know. You have a right to know the exact contemplated surgical procedure, alternative treatment options, and complication rates. You also have a right to have these confusing forms explained to you in plain English. Most health care providers will be happy to answer your questions, which will satisfy your legal and medical concerns. Do not undergo a procedure/surgery on an “I trust my doctor” basis alone. An informed patient can make the best choices.