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Informed consent in medical malpractice cases

Medical malpractice typically stems from medical negligence on the part of the medical professionals treating patients. There are many ways for a Louisianan medical professional to act negligently. Many medical malpractice cases stem from lack of informed consent.

Medical professionals are not permitted to treat a patient without the patient's informed consent. Most states have laws requiring doctors to give patients all relevant information with regards to their medical condition, treatment options, treatment risks and prognosis. The information must be presented in a way that the patient can understand, but also include details, so that the patient can make informed decisions regarding their health care.

Once all of the relevant information has been received by the patient, the patient's consent to treatment is considered "informed consent." But, a patient must be considered competent to give informed consent. Parents or guardians can give consent on behalf of a minor or someone with a mental illness.

If a doctor performs non-emergency treatment without informed consent, he can be charged with a civil offense or a criminal offense, such as battery. In order to file a successful lawsuit based on informed consent, the patient will need to prove that a doctor failed to disclose the risk or outcome of the procedure. And, the patient will need to show that if they had known this information, they would not have agreed to the treatment. The patient must also show that they suffered harm as a result of the treatment.

Unauthorized treatment by a medical professional can open them up to a medical malpractice lawsuit. If the lawsuit is successful, they will owe damages to the patient.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Gross Negligence and Lack of 'Informed Consent'," accessed on April 25, 2016

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