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Protecting Accident Victims Throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Recognizing a lack of informed consent

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Malpractice

Choosing a medical treatment can feel overwhelming. You want to understand the potential benefits, but also the possible downsides.

Doctors have a legal responsibility to explain these risks and benefits during a process called informed consent. This ensures you have all the information you need to make informed decisions about your healthcare.

Understanding side effects

Doctors are required to discuss potential side effects. These are unintended consequences that can occur after taking medication, undergoing surgery or receiving a medical procedure.

Some side effects are common and minor, like nausea or dizziness. However, some can be more serious and long-lasting. A doctor’s responsibility is to disclose side effects, even the rare ones.

Recognizing the signs

These signs suggest you might not have been fully informed about the potential risks of your treatment:

  • Lack of information: During the informed consent discussion, you were not given any information about side effects
  • Downplaying risks: The doctor minimized the severity of potential risks associated with the treatment
  • Limited time for questions: You were not given enough time to ask questions or consider your options before consenting to the treatment

Taking action

If you believe you experienced serious side effects from a treatment and were not adequately warned about them, it is important to speak with your doctor. Do not hesitate to ask questions and voice any concerns you may have about the treatment or side effects.

Additionally, you may want to seek a second opinion from another healthcare professional. Document all your interactions so you have records in case you need to legally escalate the situation.

Recognizing red flags of informed consent and knowing how to respond allows you to proactively manage your health and prioritize your well-being.