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How 'informed consent' plays in to medical malpractice cases

This blog has on several previous occasions discussed how residents of Camden and the other New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia have legal options to pursue compensation if their doctors make mistakes in their diagnosis or treatment, and those careless errors cause them further harm.

However, even when a doctor executes a procedure flawlessly, there are always risks and side affects involved. In other words, a procedure could go great from a technical standpoint but could still fail and could even lead to further complications for a patient.

This is when reason why, as part of their duty of care, doctors must make sure their patients have given informed consent to all significant medical procedures. If they do not do this, then a patient can still sue them for medical malpractice if the treatment goes awry, even if the doctor otherwise did nothing wrong or outside the standard of care.

Getting informed consent entails a doctor's making sure a patient understands exactly what the doctor is going to do and why. The doctor also has to go through both the possible payoffs the procedure might have as well as all of the risks and side effects.

The doctor also has to make sure a patient is aware of all viable alternatives, including the option of doing nothing, and the possible risks and rewards of those alternatives.

A New Jersey patient has the right to know what he or she is signing up for when undergoing a medical procedure. If a patient is kept in the dark, even accidentally, and winds up hurt by a treatment they would not have undergone had they known the possible consequences, then that patient may be eligible to receive compensation for their damages.

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