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Informed consent and medical malpractice

Going to a Michigan doctor should not be a scary endeavor. After all, these medical professionals have spent years, sometimes, even decades, educating themselves and gaining experience in their particular field. Although most medical professionals are able to provide their patients with competent, safe care, sometimes, they make errors that can be catastrophic for patients.

One way that this can occur is if a doctor fails to obtain informed consent and subsequently engages in unauthorized treatment. Consent obtained by a doctor is considered informed, if it advises a patient about his or her medical condition, the options available to him or her with regard to treatment, the risks that arise with those forms of treatment and the prognosis. It is worth mentioning that for consent to be considered informed, this information must be conveyed in a way that the patient understands.

If a doctor performs a course of treatment without informed consent, then a patient may wind up suffering serious harm. But, even if he or she does not, the mere act of moving forward without informed consent is enough to give rise to civil liability. This means that a patient in this situation may be able to recover compensation.

But, before compensation can be awarded, the patient must show that the treatment was in fact performed without informed consent. And, that if he or she had been properly informed then he or she would have foregone the treatment altogether.

As this legal issue highlights, medical malpractice cases can take many forms. One thing they have in common, though, is that these cases can be difficult and highly contentious. Failing to be prepared when pursuing one of these claims, or neglecting to properly advocate for one’s position, can lead to a denied claim and, as a result, significant emotional and financial hardship. This is why speaking with an attorney who can help analyze and prepare a case for negotiation and litigation can be so pivotal.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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