Within a personal injury case, a patient has the right to receive from their provider of health care the necessary information that is needed to give informed consent to a procedure or a treatment. In an emergency, however, this information may not be limited to a specific procedure or treatment. This would include a description of the significant medical risks involved, any information on alternatives to the treatment or procedure if the patient requests that information, the name of the person responsible for the procedure or treatment, and the costs likely to be incurred for the treatment or procedure and any alternative treatment or procedure. Generally, it is accepted that the patient should determine all the risks and benefits from these medical decisions.
Consent of Patient
There are various forms of consent of patients. Consent of patient when conclusively established refers to a provider of health care who has conclusively obtained the consent of a patient for a medical, surgical, or dental procedure if they find, by a preponderance of evidence, that the physician completed the following criterion. First, it is explained to the patient in general terms, without specific details, the procedure that will take place. Following, it is explained to the patient that types of alternative methods of treatment, if there are any, and their specific nature. Continuing, it is explained to the patient that there are risks going along with the procedure, including the general nature and extent of the risks involved, without enumerating such risks. Lastly, there is a obtained signature of the patient, containing an explanation of the procedure re, and the alternative methods of treatment and risks involved.
Consent of patient when implied refers to another type of consent of patient. This is enacted when pursuant to competent medical judgement, the proposed medical surgical or dental procedure is reasonably necessary and any delay in performing such procedure could reasonably be expected to result in death, disfigurement, impairment of faculties or serious bodily harm. Included in this notion, a person authorized to consent is not readily available would fall under consent of a patient when implied.
Emergency Treatment or Operation
If there is an emergency, it is impossible to obtain consent. This would be impractical even if it is from the patient or someone legally authorized to consent for. A physician may undertake surgery or other treatment provided that the physician is within a general customary practice of physicians of good standing in similar locality within similar conditions. By its nature, an emergency is an unforeseen combination of circumstances that are created in a condition in which an expert opinion of a physician or surgeon, by which they are acting under the same or similar circumstances, requires immediate care. Eventually, the physician would have to make it known to the patient on what has transpired, and preferably this would be done at the earliest convenience, meaning that once the patient is in a position, he or she is not having their life threatened anymore.
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