You don’t know nearly as much about medical care as the doctor you see or even the aide who takes you back to the room for your appointment and records your basic vital signs. The average adult knows very little about health care regulations and diagnostic procedures. They rely on the specialized expertise of their doctor when they need medical care.
Unfortunately, doctors don’t always educate their patients the way that they should. Frequently, doctors fail to provide patients with appropriate information when recommending certain treatments or medications. Failing to tell you the truth could eventually lead to a medical malpractice claim.
Doctors need to give you the information necessary to make the best choice
You depend on your doctor to provide you with accurate and unbiased information about prospective treatments. Whether they recommended surgery or a specific drug, you should be able to trust your doctor to tell you about potential side effects or unusually high failure rates for the suggested treatment.
If there is a common, known side effect that your doctor never warned you about and that you develop after treatment, your doctor’s failure to educate you may constitute medical malpractice. A physician should give patients adequate information so that they can make educated decisions and provide informed consent to treatment. The more possible side effects and the greater the risk of treatment failure there are, the more important full disclosure is.
When doctors gloss over the possible consequences or the chance of treatment failing, they do a disservice to their patients and create liability for themselves. Recognizing when bad medical practices become outright medical malpractice can help you hold a doctor accountable when your treatment does harm rather than good.