Informed Consent in Atlanta Surgical Error Cases

Surgeries can be life-saving procedures, but they can also present great risks. Patients have the right to be informed of the possible dangers of undergoing a procedure. If you or someone you know has been injured during surgery, it could be helpful to learn about informed consent in Atlanta surgical error cases. Contact a skilled surgical errors lawyer about your claim.

Common Risks Associated with Outpatient Surgical Procedures

Almost all surgeries pose some risk to patients. The severity of the risk, however, can vary. Some common examples of potential dangers in a surgical procedure include:

No matter how serious the risk, it should be disclosed to the patient. A local surgical error attorney could help injured parties understand how these risks can influence their informed consent claim.

Understanding Informed Consent

Informed consent is a legal principle that requires doctors to disclose the nature and purpose of surgical procedures to patients. Health professionals must also inform patients of any risks associated with the procedure and alternative courses of action. If a patient refuses to go forward with surgery, the doctor must tell him or her about the likely progression of the condition.

When Is Informed Consent Required?

Doctors do not always have to obtain informed consent. This rule only applies to certain procedures, such as surgeries that involve:

  • General anesthesia;
  • Spinal anesthesia;
  • Major regional anesthesia; or
  • Intravenous (IV) injection.

Doctors must also obtain consent for amniocentesis diagnostic procedures on pregnant patients. In emergency situations, these regulations do not apply because the patient is generally unable to give consent. For example, an unconscious person cannot agree or disagree to undergo surgery.

How is Informed Consent Obtained?

A doctor or other staff member can relay informed consent information to the patient verbally. However, it is often provided in writing for documentation purposes. Surgical information can also be presented to patients through pamphlets, audio presentations, or videos.

Obtaining Informed Consent for an Outpatient Surgery

In an outpatient setting, informed consent is generally obtained at the pre-operative appointment, in which the patient is cleared for surgery. Although, it could happen a month or two earlier when the patient first decides to have the surgery. An experienced surgical error lawyer could help the injured party understand all they need to know about informed consent in their Atlanta surgical errors case.

Role of Informed Consent in the Process of Filing a Claim

In medical malpractice claims, injured parties and their attorneys have to show that their injuries were a direct result of the surgical procedures. If doctors do not give the patient proper informed consent but they do not suffer an injury as a result, there are no valid claims.

To prove informed consent was violated, an injured party’s attorney will have to show that the claimant would have declined the procedure if the medical professional had properly disclosed information about the risks. If all of these elements are present, an injured party can file a medical malpractice claim and an informed consent claim as two separate causes of action.

Establishing Informed Consent was Not Given

When analyzing whether proper consent was obtained for an outpatient surgery, the attorney must review all the information the patient received before the procedure. It is also important to look at the surgery center’s records and the doctor’s notes. An attorney skilled in surgical error cases could help an injured party gather that type of evidence for his or her case.

An Atlanta Surgical Error Attorney Could Help with Your Case

Medical malpractice and informed consent laws can be difficult to understand. That is why it is important to have a dedicated legal team on your side. Reach out to our experienced legal team at Warshauer Woodward Atkins to learn about informed consent in Atlanta surgical errors cases. Call today.