Is Informed Consent Required in All Medical Situations?

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The concept of informed consent is an important one for all patients. It means that you can only give a valid consent to a procedure or treatment if your doctor has provided you with the information you need to know in order to make a decision that’s based on your clear understanding of the possible risks and benefits of the proposed procedure.
 

Informed consent is required in most medical situations. However,according to the California Patient’s Guide, there are two situations which are exceptions to this rule:
 

  • The simple and common exception. This exception applies to any procedure which is “simple and common”, and for which there is only a very remote risk that something could go wrong. In such cases, while you still need to give your consent to the procedure, it does not have to be “informed consent” – that is, your doctor does not need to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with you.
  • The emergency exception. This exception applies in cases of emergency where treatment is required immediately in order to save your life or prevent serious disability, and you aren’t capable of giving informed consent. However, if you’re unable to give your consent in such a situation, an effort must be made to find a family member or legal representative who can provide informed consent on your behalf.

 
It should also be noted that the emergency exception will not apply if your doctor knows that you have signed either a durable power of attorney for health care or a declaration under the Natural Health Act in which you state your refusal to receive any life-saving treatment.
 

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice and are seeking a qualified medical malpractice attorney, contact Los Angeles doctor-turned-lawyer Bradley I. Kramer for a free consultation today.

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