According to a survey of 3000 patients age 40 and older by the University of Michigan, doctors may not be giving patients all the information they need to make informed decisions about their health care. The survey found that nearly three-quarters of the patients had made at least one major health decision in the past two years, and half had made two or more, including screening for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer; taking prescription drugs, or having surgery for joint replacement, cataracts, or back pain. But the survey also showed that doctors did a poor job of informing patients about the procedures.
For example, only 20 percent of patients who had discussed breast cancer screening remembered potential drawbacks of the procedure, while 50 percent said they had heard “a lot” about the benefits. Few patients remembered the side effects of prescription drugs, or how much benefit the drugs were likely to give them, making it impossible for them to make a real risk/benefit judgment about potentially dangerous drugs.
Failure to obtain informed consent is a dangerous form of medical malpractice because it is subtle and pernicious. Thousands of people are injured by overzealous treatment because they were not properly informed of the risks.
If you were hurt by medical treatment and were not informed of the risks of your procedure, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. The medical malpractice lawyers of Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA stand ready to help you. Please call or email us today for a free case evaluation.