Lack of informed consent is a serious problem

Seeking medical care is sometimes an easy task. However, if you have a chronic medical condition or a difficult condition to treat, things might be more complex. Regardless of the situation you are in, it is imperative that you take steps to make medical decisions that are in your best interests.

The decisions you need to make might not always be simple. There are times when you have to determine whether the risks that come with a specific treatment are worth the benefit that you'll reap.

An example is chemotherapy. Some of these drugs are harsh and can lead to life-long complications. If the alternative is to leave the cancer untreated, the benefit of the medication is likely worth the risks.

Information is critical

One of the things that your medical team must do is to present you with information about the risks and benefits of any procedures, treatments or medications that you might have to take. It is impossible to make an informed decision if you don't have all the information. This is why you're sometimes asked to sign an informed consent document when you're undergoing surgery or a similar procedure.

Consider your options

Unless the situation you're facing is a life-threatening emergency, you have time to consider the options you have. You likely don't need to make a fast decision about anything. When you're going over the options, look at the facts. Don't let yourself be swayed by any inaccurate information or personal preferences from anyone who isn't intimately familiar with your case.

Discuss the situation

Your medical team is there to help guide you through your situation. You have a say in what you accept and don't accept so don't be afraid to speak up and say what's on your mind. Ask questions, get clarifications, and try to find out how the options apply to your case.

If you undergo a procedure or start on a treatment protocol and find out that you weren't given all the information necessary to make a decision about it and suffer harm, you might have a medical malpractice claim based on lack of informed consent. Looking at the situation and what standards apply might clue you into what should have happened. A claim for compensation can help you to recover the financial damages that you're having to deal with because of the harm you suffered.

 

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