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Understanding Informed Consent and How It Might Affect Your NC Medical Malpractice Case

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in Charlotte, Medical Malpractice on Thursday, June 20, 2019

doctor talking about informed consent

If you’ve ever had surgery or any other kind of extensive medical treatment, you are probably familiar with the stacks of paperwork you need to fill out that outline the potential risks of the procedure you’re about to get. You know you can’t obtain the care you need unless you sign the forms a medical professional presents you with, so you go ahead and sign them. This process, which is often referred to as informed consent, is designed to protect doctors and hospitals from malpractice claims. In the event that something goes wrong, they will simply argue that you acknowledged the risk and gave your consent to the treatment.

Fortunately, informed consent does not absolve medical professionals from every possible claim. However, you will need an experienced Charlotte medical malpractice attorney to navigate the claim process and fight for you to get the compensation you deserve. If you’re suffering from complications following a medical procedure, reach out to Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys right away.

Contact us today at (980) 237-4579 to schedule a free consultation of your case.

Understanding Informed Consent

If a doctor or hospital has obtained your consent after providing you with the necessary information about a surgery or other medical procedure, then you can’t sue them for routine or common side effects or complications. Under North Carolina General Statute (NCGS) § 90-21.13, there are three ways to determine whether a health care professional obtained your informed consent to perform medical care:

  • When the doctor obtained your consent in a manner consistent with others in their field with the same experience and training
  • When you would have enough information concerning the treatment and its related risks in order to make a decision
  • When you would agree to undergo the procedure when your physician met the requirements of the first or second definition

Is My Case Over Because I Provided Consent?

If your health care provider establishes that they obtained your informed consent, it doesn’t mean that your case is over. Instead, it is presumed that they fulfilled their obligation to you. (NCGS) § 90-21.13 also states that you can rebut that presumption of informed consent if you prove one of the following:

  • Your consent was obtained by fraud
  • Your consent was obtained by deception
  • Your consent was obtained by misrepresentation of a material fact

Informed Consent Is Not a Waiver of Liability

Many people, including health care professionals, think that informed consent shields them from any medical malpractice claims whatsoever. Fortunately for victims, this is not the case. Informed consent only shields them from claims that arise from the risks and hazards that are typically associated with the procedure. It does not protect them from claims that arise from the following:

  • Simple negligence in performing a procedure
  • Leaving foreign bodies inside you
  • Performing the wrong procedure
  • Misdiagnosing your illness

There may be other situations in which you have a malpractice claim despite the fact that your doctor obtained your informed consent. It’s important to note that providing said does not mean that you have no claim because your doctor disclosed the specific risks associated with that procedure.

Call a Charlotte Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Help

If you’re the victim of medical malpractice, you could be suffering for the rest of your life. While these cases are complex, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you through this challenging time. Reach out to Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys for a free case consultation by calling (980) 237-4579, or by sending a message through the online contact form.