What is patient consent?
It is usual for an individual who is about to undergo an invasive procedure such as an operation to have been given the appropriate consent to treatment. Clinicians have an obligation to initially obtain your consent.
Prior to the treatment, you must be fully informed of the procedure and be advised of the potential risks involved. In addition, you must be made aware of any alternative treatments available.
Further, you must give your consent to the procedure and once you provide this consent, you have given what is called “informed consent.” Informed consent means that you knew of the risks involved, but you decided to take them.
Consent negligence claims may arise when informed consent is not given. If you agree to a hospital procedure without being told of the potential risks, you are not truly giving consent, which could give rise to a claim for compensation.
Informed medical consent
The risks and consent will normally be explained verbally to you and backed up by a signed written consent form.
The documentation should set out the primary risks associated with the procedure, confirm you have understood the risks you are taking and on signing, confirm your consent to the taking of the risks.
Informed medical Consent Claim
To succeed in an informed medical consent hospital negligence claim against a hospital or NHS Trust, you must show that informed consent was not given.
Following recent case law, it is the duty of the practitioner to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments. If this was not provided, then you may have a claim relating to lack of informed consent.
Nevertheless, if informed consent is given, a surgical procedure or operation should still be completed at the correct standard with the correct level of expertise. An error that should not have been made despite a signed consent form can still allow you to make a medical negligence claim for compensation.