Patients have the right to make their own decisions about their healthcare. Before undergoing any medical treatment or procedure, a patient must generally provide her consent or authorization. A key part of any patient’s ability to make healthcare-related decisions is being properly informed about any medical treatments or procedures before consenting to undergo them.
In Illinois, healthcare professionals have a legal duty to disclose and communicate to patients the potential risks, side effects, benefits and alternatives to any proposed medical treatments. When a healthcare professional fails to provide this necessary information to a patient before a treatment or procedure begins, the patient lacks informed consent. A patient who is not properly informed may be harmed in many ways. For example, he or she may undergo an unnecessary and painful procedure or they may fail to begin proper treatment right away, resulting in greater complications and a longer recovery. The only time that patient consent for a medical treatment or procedure is not required is in the case of an emergency when it is “impossible or impracticable” to obtain consent.
Any patient who is harmed as the result of a medical treatment or procedure may have a claim of professional negligence against any healthcare providers who fails to obtain that patient’s informed consent before a medical treatment or procedure. Please contact us today to discuss your case.