detailMedical Negligence

Failure to Warn and Informed Consent

Failure to Warn and Informed Consent

Failure to Warn or Informed Consent Compensation Lawyers

Ensuring informed consent is properly obtained is a professional, legal and ethical obligation of every medical professional. It is up to the patient, and no one else, to decide as to whether to undergo a particular surgical procedure or be subject to a particular medical treatment.

Good medical practice ensures that informed consent is validly obtained at an appropriate time and prior to administration of any medical treatment to a patient.

To obtain valid and proper “informed consent” from a patient, the patient must be provided with accurate and relevant information about the proposed treatment, as well as alternative treatment options that are available to the patient. The patient must then agree to the proposed medical treatment with full, adequate knowledge and understanding of the benefits and risks of the proposed treatment, procedure, or intervention, even if the risks of a bad or adverse outcome are relatively small.

Failure to warn will, also, occur where a patient is not advised or fully warned or informed of the nature and severity of their medical condition, what ought to be done to treat the condition, the likely outcome that would eventuate if the condition remained untreated, and what to do when certain symptoms develop or the condition deteriorates.

We’ll be here for you every step of the way guiding you through the process in your medical negligence claim. We have the expert knowledge, expertise and a proven history needed to obtain outstanding results in all types of medical negligence compensation claims involving failure to warn and lack of informed consent.

We’ll act for you in your medical negligence claim on a no win, no fee basis with no upfront costs. See our why choose us page for many more reasons as to why so many Australians choose Longton Compensation Lawyers over anyone else for their medical negligence failure to warn and lack of informed consent claims.

What are examples of failure to warn or lack of informed consent?

Examples of medical negligence claims involving lack of informed consent or where there has been failure to warn are:

  • Medical professional’s lack of experience in a particular area of medicine or lack of training or experience to undertake a particular surgical procedure or intervention

This occurs when a medical professional such as a doctor or a surgeon does not disclose to a patient:

  • Their lack of experience in a particular area of medicine.
  • Their lack of training or experience to undertake a particular surgical procedure or intervention.
  • Availability of more experienced and better trained specialists or surgeons who perform a particular medical procedure or intervention on a regular basis.
  • That complications are less likely to occur if the proposed medical procedure was carried out by a more experienced and better trained specialist or surgeon.
  • Obtaining consent from a patient for one type of surgical procedure or medical treatment, but performing a totally different surgical procedure or treatment, or performing additional surgical procedures or treatments without patient’s consent

In such circumstances, the medical professional’s conduct is likely to amount to “battery” or an “assault” or “trespass” to the patient’s person”, because the treatment would be administered to the patient without the patient’s consent or prior agreement to undergo the treatment.

  • Not advising the patient or not explaining to the patient the risks and consequences of proposed medical treatment or intervention that can occur, even if the risk is small

A medical professional, such as a doctor or a surgeon, must advise their patient of all material risks of the proposed surgical treatment or medical intervention, no matter how small those risks are. If the patient is not warned about a risk and would not have agreed to proceed with the surgical procedure or medical intervention if a proper waning was provided, there will be failure to warn or to obtain the patient’s informed consent.

  • Not advising the patient of the serious nature of their condition and consequence of progression or how to deal with specific symptoms or complications if they arise

If a doctor performs a surgical procedure on a patient but does not advise the patient that urgent medical treatment ought to be sought upon development of a certain symptom, and, as a result the patient’s condition is allowed to progress and worsen, there will be a failure to warn.

What are the consequences of lack of informed consent or failure to warn?

The most common consequences of failure to obtain a patient’s informed consent or failure to warn a patient are:

  • Having treatment or undergoing medical procedures that the patient would not have had if the patient was properly informed or warned.
  • Assault, battery and trespass to the patient’s person.
  • Loss of chance or opportunity to be treated or operated on by a better trained or more experienced and qualified surgeon or medical professional, and, therefore, avoiding the complication of treatment that materialised.
  • Delay in administration of treatment resulting in greater tissue destruction or progression of a medical condition or illness.
  • Carrying out surgery that is not indicated or necessary or having unnecessary treatment that is unlikely to bring about any therapeutic benefit.
  • Damage to surrounding organs, vascular or arterial injuries and nerve damage, and other injuries due to lack of experience or training.
  • Unnecessary scarring due to incorrect or poor surgical technique and planning.
  • Not completing the surgical procedure by failing to exercise or remove, for example, all of the cancer tissue, due to lack of training or experience, where complete excision was possible by a better trained and experienced surgeon.
  • Death.

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