Home » Health Law » What is Informed Consent?

Informed Consent is the process by which a physician advises a patient about his or her treatment. Depending upon state laws, a physician might have the obligation to tell the patient his or her diagnosis, proposed treatment or surgery, the reason for the treatment or surgery, the possible complications, the likelihood of success, alternative treatment options, and the risks to the patient if he or she does not undergo the treatment/surgery.

Some states state that a patient has the right to tell his or her doctor that he or she does not want to be told of the risks and benefits of medical treatments.

A patient also has the right to decide not to accept medical treatment after he or she has been told the risks and benefits. The patient may also have the right to decide that he or she does not want to be told of any potential risks of medical treatment.

A medical professional must provide information a reasonable person in the patient’s position would want to know to be able to make an informed decision regarding reasonably appropriate alternative treatments or procedures. Failure to do so could result in lawsuits for battery or tort.

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