WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HEALTH LAW
"Health Law" is a broad term which covers the following issues:
- Patient Rights
- Health and Medical Law violations
- Informed Consent violations
- Medicaid / Medicare fraud
- Doctor and Hospital Overcharges, and
- Medical Employment Contracts
What "Informed Consent" Means
A common healthcare issue arises when there's a bad outcome to medical treatment or a surgical procedure. Sadly, the issue starts long before you even talk to a medical professional. It starts right at the front desk. Here's how.
You know all that paperwork you have to sign before you even get in to see a nurse, physician's assistant, or doctor? Hidden in all those words and all that paper is consent language. What does consent mean?
- Consent allows the doctor - and anyone else in the doctor's office - to perform medical procedures on you.
- You are usually signing away your life, or at least the right to so-called informed consent, when you sign standard consent forms.
- You are usually absolving everyone in the doctor's office of any responsibility for anything that goes wrong.
What's So Important About "Informed Consent"?
Informed Consent is much more than having a patient sign a form. Informed Consent means you understand the proposed treatment or procedure and its risks to you. Properly obtained Informed Consent shifts the risk (and responsibility) for the outcome of your medical treatment from the medical practice to you. That's right: properly obtained, Informed Consent shifts the risk, responsibility, and decision for treatment, to YOU - the person who will ultimately live with, or die because of - the consequences.
This is why understanding Informed Consent is so critical. True Informed Consent means YOU - not any medical professional - assume the risks and responsibilities for undergoing a particular course of medical treatment or surgical procedure.
- To make an informed decision about whether to give your permission, you need information about the treatment or procedure and the risks associated with it.
- Informed Consent addresses the information you receive and how it is provided to you - before the treatment or procedure occurs.
Texas has a specific law governing Informed Consent. It is found in the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Title 4, Chapter 74, Subchapter C.
Additional Informed Consent Considerations
The Texas Informed Consent statute is only one aspect of assessing whether you have received sufficient information for Informed Consent. There are other important standards, including the physician standard. The physician standard is the responsibility physicians have to disclose information that a reasonable physician would disclose to a patient.
Informed Consent means you are responsible for the consequences of a medical-treatment disaster. Did you or your loved ones give Informed Consent? If you have doubt or questions, contact our law office.
Robert B. Goss has a Masters of Law in Health Law. A Masters of Law is a graduate law degree received after earning a Juris Doctor degree. A Masters of Law degree is shown by the abbreviation "LL.M," from the Latin wording "Legum Magister," or "Master of Laws."