One of the most important issues in many medical malpractice cases is that of informed consent. Before performing any medical procedure, doctors are obligated to inform their patients of the risks involved so that the patient may make an informed decision as to whether or not to go forward. If this is not done but the patient decides to go forward with the procedure anyway, the patient may have grounds to enlist a Norwalk medical malpractice attorney to sue the doctor for medical malpractice.
It is not enough to simply give the patient a generic form and have them sign it to qualify as informed consent, as any Norwalk medical malpractice attorney will tell you. The doctor must also take the time to discuss the risks and possible outcomes with the patient. This does not necessarily mean that the doctor must outline every single possible potentiality that might occur during the procedure. There are two different standards to determining which risks should be explained to a patient in order to obtain informed consent:
If the risk is statistically high enough that most doctors would disclose it for the given procedure, then it is possible the patient did not give informed consent. Arguing this strategy will usually require Norwalk medical malpractice attorneys to hire a medical expert to testify that the risk was common enough according to other doctors. If the risk was so remote or unlikely that most doctors would not have disclosed it, this argument is unlikely to prevail.
In this argument, the court will inquire as to whether a patient with the same condition and history as the plaintiff would likely have opted for a different treatment (or no treatment) if informed of the risk in question. This strategy does not require the testimony of a medical expert, but it may be useful anyway depending on the issues involved.
For more information on when informed consent must be obtained and what qualifies as informed consent, contact a Norwalk medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons and Grant LLC. Call 203-504-5840.