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Why 'informed consent' is crucial to your medical care

When you are considering having a medical procedure, it is your doctor's responsibility to present all the information you need to make a decision about whether to proceed.

In Kentucky, as in other states, patients have the right to receive information about your diagnosis, the options for treating your condition, any risks and the expected outcome or prognosis. Doctors must share this information in language that is easy to understand – not in medical jargon – and with enough detail for you to decide whether to agree to the care.

Once you learn the details and decide to sign the permission forms, it's called "informed consent."

Informed consent is required unless the patient is unable to comply in an emergency, life-or-death situation. The patient must be considered mentally competent to sign off on the procedure.

When a doctor doesn't get a patient's informed consent for a nonemergency procedure, the doctor could face legal peril. But the patient also could pursue civil action.

To win a lawsuit against a doctor you believe treated you without informed consent, you must prove that you weren't told of the risk or the potential outcome of the procedure, that had you known the risks, you wouldn't have authorized the treatment and that you were harmed by the unauthorized procedure.

If you believe your doctor failed to lay out all the risks properly and didn't explain the procedure in full, you should reach out to an attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases. Your health is of paramount importance and if it has been compromised because of treatment by your physician, you deserve compensation.

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U.S.COURT OF APPEALS Fayette Country Bar Association KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION | 1871 KENTUCKY JUSTICE ASSOCIATION UNITED STATES DISTRICK COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE | United States Of America

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