New York Medical Malpractice–What Is Informed Consent?

You have decided to have elective surgery, such as breast implants, a nose job, or radial keratotomy. Before the procedure is performed, the surgeon (or more likely his nurse or assistant) will hand you a document which contains a long list of potential complications and risks of the procedure you are about to undergo. The document you are about to sign is called a “consent form.” Before you place your signature on that piece of paper, MAKE SURE YOU READ IT CAREFULLY! What you will find when you read the consent, (for example in the case of the radial keratotomy), is that there is a risk of blindness, a worsening of your eyesight, and death or serious complications from the anesthesia.

Do not hesitate to ask the surgeon any and all questions about the potential risks and dangers of the surgery, and if you feel that your questions have not been fully or satisfactorily answered, walk out of that office without going forward with the surgery. Once you have signed the consent, which will state on the form that you have read it carefully and that all of your questions have been answered, you have now given your “informed consent” to the procedure. What the means is that if a problem develops from the surgery, and that problem was disclosed as a potential risk or complication of the operation, you have most likely waived your opportunity to institute a medical malpractice case as a result of your “informed consent.”

If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact The Law Office of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at 888-761-7633 for a free consultation to discuss your case with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney who will outline your potential legal options.