Robert Goss received 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 also shown by the abbreviation of the Latin for Legum Magister as a LL.M.
This practice area handles:
- Patient Rights
- Health and Medical Law violations
- Informed consent violations
- Medicaid / Medicare fraud
- Doctor and Hospital Overcharges, and
- Medical Employment Contracts
Any adult who has ever been treated at a doctor’s office is familiar with signing paperwork. Hidden somewhere in that stack of paper is a consent allowing the doctor to perform a medical procedure. In fact, a patient could be signing away his or her life, or at least the right to informed consent, if the patient signs the forms blindly.
Informed consent as practiced by doctors and hospitals is an exercise in paperwork and futility. The patients are not informed and the doctors risk liability. The confusion and failure with informed consent is that the doctrine is not uniform, nor is there a standardized disclosure standard. The physician and patients are confronted with differing disclosure standards. There is the minimum state standard, used in Texas, if that does not inform the patient due to its brevity. Next, the physician standard allows the doctor to disclose information that a reasonable physician would disclose to a patient. The third is the patient standard, requiring the physician to provide the information a reasonable patient would be expected to need to make an informed choice in the treatment. The ultimate disclosure standard is the subjective standard, where the physician and patient tailor the disclosure to the individual patients needs. The problem with obtaining informed consent is there is neither an objective standard nor clear guidance. Doctors focus on having the paperwork complete, to protect against a malpractice lawsuit, while missing the point that informed consent is the patient selecting the best course of treatment for his needs. Informed consent is only obtained by understanding the informed consent elements.
Today, the doctrine of informed consent exists in both the common law and in state statutes and regulations. Informed consent is more than having a patient sign a form. Informed consent is the manifestation of the patient’s understanding and decision to select the course of treatment desired. Informed consent can only be obtained by a patient who is provided and understands the six elements of informed consent. Properly obtained informed consent shifts the responsibility, and the decision for treatment, to the person who will ultimately live with, or die because of, the consequences: the patient.