Providing medical care is a complex matter and can be quite confusing unless you hold a medical license and know what goes into the process of treating patients from the inside out. That is why many patients do not understand all of the details and specifics of medical treatments, a crucial element of which is obtaining a patient’s informed consent and warning a patient of any side effects or known risks associated with a medical treatment, procedure, or medication.
As you may or may not know, failure to obtain informed consent can constitute medical malpractice. So when a medical professional performs a procedure or treatment or administers a medication without obtaining the patient’s informed consent, the patient may be entitled to seek compensation.
Our Philadelphia failure to warn of side effects and known risks attorney from The Weitz Firm, LLC, explains that in order for the consent to meet the definition of “informed,” a healthcare provider must inform the patient of all the critical details about the proposed treatment, procedure, or drug, including its known risks and side effects.
In Pennsylvania, doctors and medical institutions have a duty to obtain informed consent before performing a medical treatment or procedure, or administering medication. In particular, the patient must be informed about all of the following:
Only after a patient has received all of the above information, he or she has the right to either consent to the treatment or refuse it. Our experienced failure to warn of side effects and known risks attorney in Philadelphia explains that you may be able to sue your doctor under the legal theory of medical malpractice if you suffered harm or complication as a result of a medical treatment, procedure, or drug you did not give your consent to or the side effects or known risks of which were not disclosed to you before the procedure or treatment.
It is true that prescription drugs contain packing information that includes warnings of side effects and known risks. Still, medical professionals and pharmacists have a duty to explain the known risks to a patient since they cannot expect all patients to understand all the statements provided in the packaging information.
When it comes to warning patients of side effects or known risks associated with a proposed procedure, treatment, or medication, many doctors forget to provide an explanation using everyday and simple words instead of medical jargon and confusing terminology. Our Philadelphia failure to warn of known risks lawyer explains that you may still be able to sue your doctor if he or she did warn of known risks but did so by using words you could not understand.
The same can be said about a communication barrier between a patient and medical professional. If a patient cannot speak English or is not fluent in the English language, the health care provider has a duty to provide a qualified and certified interpreter or translator to inform the patient of any known risks and side effects in the language that can be clearly understood by the patient.