3 Signs Your Consent to a New York Medical Procedure May Not Have Been Informed

The concept of informed consent is not new. There is evidence that by the mid 1700s doctors could be held accountable for battery if they performed a surgery or procedure without a patient's consent*.

The same problem occurs today. There are still times when doctors or hospitals authorize and perform procedures without obtaining the informed consent of the patient or the patient's health care proxy. This failure to obtain informed consent is illegal in New York.

How Do I Know if My Consent was "Informed"?

You should consult a New York medical malpractice lawyer if you:
  • Did not know about both the benefits and risks of the procedure performed.
  • Were not advised of any alternative treatments, or what would happen if no treatment was provided.
  • Would not have consented to treatment if you had known the risks, benefits and alternatives.

Additionally, you should have the opportunity to have your questions about the procedure answered and the information should be provided to you in a way that you can comprehend. Quite simply, informed consent means that you are agreeing to an operation or procedure that you understand.
Why Informed Consent is Important

Perhaps Justice Cardozo summed up the importance of informed consent best in the nearly century-old decision of Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital, 211 NY 125 (1914). In that case, Justice Cardozo said, "Every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body; and a surgeon who performs an operation without his patient's consent commits an assault, for which he is liable in damages."

If you believe that you have undergone a medical procedure without giving your prior informed consent, please contact a New York medical malpractice attorney at 1-800-PAGAN-911 to discuss your legal options.

*Source: Encyclopedia of Everyday Law, Informed Consent

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