FAQs About Informed Consent Laws In Florida
Health care providers have the training, education, and experience to deliver quality care, but it is important to remember that patients are entitled to make their own decisions regarding medical treatment. All US states have an informed consent law that recognizes this right, and the Florida Medical Consent Law outlines the basics. A physician must first explain the risks of a procedure to the patient and obtain consent before starting treatment. Consent is implied in an emergency situation where the patient cannot provide it.
If a health care provider does not go through the proper steps for informed consent, a patient who is harmed could have rights under Florida medical malpractice laws. There are numerous, complicated legal issues involved with these cases, so getting help from a skilled Tampa medical malpractice lawyer is crucial. You can also learn more about the relevant concepts by reviewing some answers to common questions about informed consent.
What is the physician’s duty with informed consent? In Florida, a doctor must advise the patient on three factors:
- The nature of the treatment;
- The serious risk and hazards of going through the procedure or treatment; and,
- Reasonable alternatives to going through this treatment, including the option of doing nothing.
If the physician explains the key issues on these three topics and the patient agrees to move forward with the procedure, informed consent has taken place.
What is the legal effect of a signed writing? A health care provider may request that you sign a document while explaining the three factors mentioned above. The writing is the physician’s way of creating a paper trail for informed consent, but your signature does not automatically mean that you agree. If you were medicated or otherwise lacking capacity, you may not have truly given informed consent.
Who are potential parties with a med mal claim? The individual physician will usually be accountable for violations of informed consent, but there may be other potential parties. The details vary according to the care setting, from the hospital and ER to clinics, medical practices, and physician’s offices. When a doctor is an employee of these organizations, it is possible to pursue the employer as well.
How do I recover damages? Many medical malpractice cases in Florida settle out of court, where you negotiate an agreement with the med mal insurer that covers the health care provider. However, if the company will not pay fair compensation, you will have to sue in court to obtain:
- Costs of medical care;
- Lost income;
- Pain and suffering; and,
- Emotional distress.
Contact a Florida Med Mal Attorney for Additional Answers
Implied consent is an important aspect of the patient-physician relationship, so you should find out about your legal remedies if you have concerns about care you received. To learn more, please contact Greco & Wozniak P.A. at 813.223.7849 or visit us online. We can set up a free consultation at our offices in Tampa, FL. After reviewing your circumstances, a skilled medical malpractice lawyer can advise you on options.