Informed Consent and Medical Malpractice

December 13, 2019

Patients undergoing medical treatment have the right to certain information about the procedure, expected results, and any complications. This information allows them to provide the healthcare provider with their “informed consent” before receiving medical care. If a healthcare provider fails to obtain the patient’s informed consent and causes injury, the patient may have a case for malpractice.

If you believe you were injured due to a medical treatment for which you did not receive informed consent, you should reach out to an experienced Kentucky medical malpractice attorney for help. At Saladino & Schaaf, we will review your case and provide a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

What is Informed Consent?

Informed consent is when a patient gives permission to a healthcare provider to proceed with a recommended medical procedure. Healthcare providers have a responsibility to inform patients about the negative and positive aspects of the treatment, so the patient may make an informed decision to proceed. Patients in the US are expected to play an integral part in their own healthcare decisions.

Healthcare providers should provide the following to patients to allow them to give informed consent:

  • Diagnosis
  • The course of medical treatment and why it is necessary
  • Benefits of the treatment
  • Risks of the treatment
  • Risks and benefits of not undergoing the recommended treatment
  • Alternative options and their risks and benefits

Many healthcare providers will have patients sign an informed consent form detailing this information to protect themselves.

When Informed Consent is Not Needed

Informed consent is not always necessary. Here are some exceptions when it may not be necessary:

Routine Medical Procedures

Sometimes procedures are routine and non-invasive, so it is not required. Some routine procedures which do not require consent include a nurse or doctor checking vital signs or using a stethoscope to check a heartbeat. Routing tests and standard treatments may also not require informed consent.

Emergency Situations

In emergencies, the patient may be unresponsive, or there may not be sufficient time to get informed consent. The doctor may need to make the decision on behalf of the patient to reasonably treat the patient.

Patients Who Cannot Give Consent

Mentally disabled patients and minors cannot give consent, as they may not have an understanding of the diagnosis or other information. If the person has a guardian, this person should be consulted for permission to move forward with the procedure.

In most cases, parents can provide consent for their minor children. Additionally, some minors may be considered mature enough to make decisions about their healthcare and treatments associated with sexual activity, mental health, and substance abuse.

Proving Medical Negligence

Establishing that a healthcare provider did not obtain informed consent, you must be able to prove:

  • The healthcare provider was required to get your consent
  • The healthcare provider did not receive your consent
  • You would not have consented to the procedure if you had been properly informed of the benefits and risks
  • You suffered an injury due to the procedure or treatment connected to your lack of consent

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Saladino & Schaaf has helped many medical malpractice victims get the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to medical negligence, contact Saladino & Schaaf online or by phone at 270-444-0406 for a free consultation. Read our online reviews at and view testimonial videos from some of our past clients.




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Informed Consent in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit




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