When you get injured or are suffering from an illness, you go into a medical facility or a hospital, hoping to get proper treatment. However, before the doctors begin your treatment process, they ask you to sign a medical consent form. This is done to ensure that the patient understands what they are getting into before medical providers start doing what they need to do.
Even though a reputed hospital would never make you sign something weird or inappropriate, it is important that you understand the terms of the consent form before signing. Read every line thoroughly and consult with an attorney when you do not understand a clause. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice lawyer today.
Things to know before you sign a medical consent form
- You are not legally required to sign a form.
Sometimes, patients sign a form even though they do not feel 100% comfortable with it. It is important to know that you are legally allowed to refuse treatment in the United States if you feel something is wrong with the form or the treatment procedure. Regardless of how much the doctors and medical staff try to convince you, you can say no. You are under no legal obligation to sign their forms. If you have concerns, you can refer to another doctor first.
- Evaluate the risks of the treatment carefully.
The medical form they present you should contain a list of all the side effects and complications that might happen during or as a result of the treatment. Therefore, you should carefully go through each word and line of the form to understand what you are getting yourself into. You should also understand what would happen if the risks actually came true and how they would be handled by the medical team.
- Take the help of an advocate.
Many hospitals have patient advocates as a part of their staffing team. These patient advocates help patients understand the various rights and options that the patient has to resolve certain issues. Most highly reputed hospitals have patient advocates. It is not uncommon for patient advocates to come in whenever there is a dispute regarding the medical forms.
- The forms do not take away all legal responsibility from doctors.
A common misconception is that patients think once they sign the form, they allow the doctors to do whatever they think is right. However, it does not allow doctors to behave unethically or unprofessionally. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer today.