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Informed Medical Consent Hospital Negligence Claim: UK solicitor explains why you must be informed of the risks of a hospital procedure and provide consent before treatment can begin

Informed medical consent hospital negligence claim: Find out why you must provide informed consent before a surgical procedure takes place, what informed medical consent is, why in the absence of consent a hospital could be considered to have committed assault and battery, how to claim compensation for negligence even with consent and what to do to claim compensation from a hospital NHS trust.

What is an informed medical consent hospital negligence claim?

It is quite often the case in life that we will all need some form of hospital treatment at one point or another – if this treatment is intrusive, such an operation or other surgical procedure, a surgeon, doctor or other physician must first obtain your consent to the procedure taking place.

In the absence of consent an invasive treatment, such as an operation, can be considered trespass to the person - as a doctor is invading your right to secure your bodily safety or integrity.

Consider the man on the street who is attacked by a stranger – this is a crime of violence known as assault and battery. In the same way – a surgeon who does not obtain consent commits assault and battery despite the motives perhaps being good.

Informed medical consent hospital negligence claim

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The only way an intrusive hospital procedure is not considered as assault is by you providing informed consent - you must be fully informed of the procedure which is about to take place and the potential risks involved and give your consent to the procedure.

When you give consent in this way it is informed consent - in other words you knew the risks and you decided to take them and in so doing you forgo the right to bodily integrity and as such no trespass to the person and in turn no assault and battery will occur.

An informed medical consent hospital negligence claim will occur when you have not given informed consent and as such you are entitled to be compensated by the hospital for its negligence in not obtaining proper consent.

If you agree to a hospital procedure without being told of the risks that can occur – you are not truly giving consent and as such a potential compensation claim could still be made.

Is informed consent necessary in emergency situations?

There are examples where it is difficult or even impossible for you to give informed consent in person.

Take the example of a serious work accident or road traffic accident in which you might be unconscious and yet still require emergency treatment to save your life. In such instances – consent might be sort from your next of kin, but if family members are not present; the situation is life threatening or serious and you are not in a state of mind to provide consent – the doctors can act to save your life as this will be presumed to be your will and follows the general principle of preservation of life being in the interests of society.

Remember - if you are of sound mind you can refuse consent for a medical procedure, treatment or even a blood transfusion. So long as you make a choice with your faculties intact then a hospital and it’s doctors cannot provide the treatment as your wishes are paramount and can therefore be considered to override the principle of society that human life is sacred and should be preserved at all times.

How do you provide informed medical consent to a hospital?

A discussed a hospital should ensure that informed consent is obtained – the risks and consent will normally be provided verbally backed up by a signed written consent form.

Written consent allows doctors to have peace of mind and be able to prove that informed consent has been obtained - 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 taking of the risks.

What must you show to succeed in an informed medical consent hospital negligence 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 not that the hospital was negligent in the procedure itself. Assault and battery will have occurred in conducting the operation irrespective of the outcome if no informed consent was obtained from that patient.

If informed consent is given and hospital negligence occurs can a clinical negligence claim still be made?

”Yes” – even if informed consent is given a surgical procedure or operation should still be completed with the correct level of expertise expected of that doctor or surgeon. 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.

What should you do if you suspect you have a informed medical consent hospital negligence claim?

The answer is simple – you will need the help of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor to assess your informed medical consent hospital negligence claim.

Click informed medical consent hospital negligence claim to contact me online to assess your claim or request a free call from me in person to discuss your informed medical consent hospital negligence claim .