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Informed consent and medical malpractice

When a person enters the hospital in Maryland for a surgical procedure, a signed consent form is typically required before the surgery can proceed. This form highlights the risks associated with the procedure to be performed. In addition, doctors are required to inform patients of known potential risks. This is known as “informed consent.” If complications occur and a patient was not informed of the risks grounds for a medical malpractice claim may exist.

Doctors typically try to foresee all of the things that might go wrong during a procedure and inform the patient of these risks. But what if something unforeseen occurs during the surgery resulting in a complication the patient was not made aware of prior to surgery? Consent forms often provide for this eventuality with a clause that says the patient consents to treatments that may become necessary during the procedure.

One of the measures that is used to help determine if a medical malpractice claim is an option concerns whether the patient would have chosen the procedure had the risk been made known. For example, if a patient suffers an unexpected outcome due to an unexpected event during surgery, a malpractice suit may be an option. Another measure might be whether other doctors in similar situations would have disclosed the risk in question.

Surgeons are looked to as professionals to help fix what might be wrong with a patient. Doctors are human and as such are not infallible. Doctors take an oath to do no harm. If failure to disclose a surgical risk to a patient results in harm coming to the patient in Maryland, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be a viable option.