If I consent to surgery, can I still bring a medical malpractice claim?

If I consent to surgery, can I still bring a medical malpractice claim?

Prior to surgery, you may be presented with a consent form which goes into detail concerning the potential risks involved. You will be asked to acknowledge that you “consent” to the risks, and understand the nature of the procedure you’re about to have. But what if something does go wrong? Is signing a consent form a defense to medical errors?

The short answer is – it depends. While signing a consent form may be the “first line of defense” for doctors or other health care providers, such as when poor outcomes occur that are known risks, it is not a defense when health care providers’ conduct falls below the standard of care. It also does not provide blanket protection where medical staff performs procedures not included on the consent form. In some situations, health care staff may elect to take actions which in their discretion are of benefit to the patient. If a patient hasn’t explicitly consented to that action, it may be cause for review.

Discerning what may constitute medical negligence requires an in-depth review from medical malpractice attorneys who can oversee an expert’s review of the medical care received to determine whether the care falls outside of the profession’s standard.

For more information or if you believe that you have suffered harm from medical malpractice, please contact our dedicated San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson for an immediate, confidential consultation.


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