New York City Medical Malpractice Attorney Explains Can I Sue If My Doctor
New York City medical malpractice attorney, Jonathan C. Reiter, explains informed consent and what a patient should do if theirs has been violated.
New York City Medical Malpractice Attorney Explains - Can I Sue If My Doctor Didn’t Tell Me About a Specific Risk?
New York City, NY — Anyone who has undergone a surgery or invasive medical procedure knows that there’s an extensive list of complications that could come along with it. Depending on the nature of the procedure, these risks can range from inconsequential to debilitating.
The law requires doctors to inform their patients about the risks involved in any surgery or invasive medical procedure they propose. In both law and medicine, this information is referred to as “informed consent.”
Many hospitals require patients to sign a form acknowledging that they understand the risks of their procedure, but it’s important to note that just because a patient signs a consent form doesn’t necessarily mean that they understood the risks and gave their informed consent to the procedure.
In a medical malpractice case, the question of whether the doctor had a duty to disclose typically revolves around two questions: whether other doctors in a similar situation would have considered the risk important enough to disclose, and whether the patient would have gone forward with the procedure if they knew about the risk.
There are some exceptions to the general rule that informed consent is required in all medical procedures. Perhaps the most common exception to the rule is an emergency situation. When a doctor is working quickly to save someone’s life in an emergency, the physician may not be able to obtain informed consent.
In some cases, a doctor may recognize an additional problem during a surgery or medical procedure that was not on the consent form. Typically, consent forms deal with this situation by indicating that the patient consents to such additional procedures as the surgeon deems necessary during the operation.
In other cases, a doctor may forego informed consent if informing a patient with serious anxiety of a risk could cause the patient to refuse life-saving treatment. However, in this extraordinary type of case, the doctor must be able to explain why disclosing a risk could have caused more harm to the patient than withholding it.
However, assuming the patient suffers even greater damage due to the doctor’s unexpected procedure, this could be a case that rises to the level of a medical malpractice claim. This is particularly true if the patient can legitimately claim that they would have sought alternative treatment if they had been fully informed of the risks.
If you believe your doctor withheld a risk from you, and you were injured as a result of a doctor’s negligence, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. It’s important to talk to a New York City medical malpractice attorney about your case, as there are strict time limits for filing a claim.
Contact leading New York City medical malpractice lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter for a free case review.