Medical malpractice lawyers in Michigan understand that procedures go wrong every day. There are inherent risks to medical intervention. Patients must be informed of the risks associated with the recommended procedure.
This task is usually accomplished by a doctor running down a checklist of risks beforehand. You sign on the dotted line and hope that nothing goes wrong. But what if your doctor didn’t disclose risks that are important to you as a patient and caused you further injury?
Lawyers specializing in medical malpractice think you potentially have a case. By not providing you with ample information, your doctor did not allow you to make an informed decision. Read on to learn more about informed consent laws in Michigan to help you determine if you have a claim.
What is Informed Consent?
Informed consent is a widely used term in health care law. Within the context of medical malpractice, it is your agreement to a medical procedure or treatment after being advised of important risks. Failure to obtain your informed consent exposes your doctor to medical malpractice claims.
Here is where informed consent requirements get complicated:
Your doctor is not required to provide you with an exhaustive list of risks. He or she must only provide the ones that are important. That means what you might consider being a significant risk may not be the same for your doctor and vice versa. So, how do courts decide if your medical provider was in breach of his or her duty?
Risks Your Doctor Must Disclose
Informed consent claims in Michigan consider the patient’s perspective in court. In short, a judge or jury determines if another patient in the same situation would have made a different choice. Informed consent laws also require your doctor to disclose alternative medical therapies for your injury or illness.
Doctors tend to use consent forms as a legal measure to demonstrate that he or she informed you of the inherent risks related to your treatment. Your signature indicates you understand and agree to the procedure even after being made aware of the risks involved.
If your doctor can produce a signed consent form, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a claim. Your signature only proves that you signed the paper. It does not prove your doctor made sure you understood what you signed. Medical malpractice lawyers can help you strengthen your argument against your doctor.
When Informed Consent Is Not Required
There are a few situations in which a medical provider does not have to obtain your informed consent. In general, emergency medical intervention and emotional distress avoidance are the only situations in which the laws are properly side-stepped.
A medical emergency is immediate in nature. Loss of life is not an option in our health care system. Licensed medical professionals are given permission to stabilize your health with or without informed consent. You cannot pursue an informed consent claim in this situation unless you have a specific health care power of attorney in place.
Mental and Emotional Instability
Injury and illness lead to emotional distress for many patients. A doctor may not obtain informed consent if disclosing the patient would become distraught after hearing them and avoiding treatment altogether. An already weak patient may be worse off since stress and anxiety contribute to the body negatively.
This concept does not mean that your doctor can prove this intention to refute your claims. He or she must be able to provide evidence that the standard of care was met given the situation.
Discuss Your Case with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Michigan
Michigan medical malpractice laws are highly regulated by state medical boards and examiners. You do not have to face them alone. Speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer in Michigan is the best way to apply legal insight to your situation.