Gross Negligence and Lack of "Informed Consent"

Gross negligence is also the conduct that can be labeled as reckless that it is easily apparent even to a layman. This is a medical malpractice that is committed and subject to liability.  To provide an example of medical malpractice, is the act of amputating the wrong limb or being careless to leave something inside someone’s body.

In some states, it is allowed to pursue an action for medical malpractice in spite of the lack of an expert witness. A minority of states still permit an action for “res ipsa loquitur” (“the thing speaks for itself”), meaning that such an accident or injury to the patient could not have occurred unless there was negligence by the doctor’s having control over the patient.

Unauthorized Treatment and Lack of “Informed Consent”

The right to receive information about a persons’ medical condition has been recognized by the different states in the United States. A person is entitled to know more about his medical condition and the possible choices in what treatments to be used for his recovery.  The information must be in plain language terms that can be comprehended by someone who does not have a technical background.  The information should also be in sufficient amounts such that a patient is able to make an “informed” decision about his or her health care.

There will already be the presumption of “informed consent” if the patient is proven to have been given access to the pertinent information that she needs to know. A doctor who fails to obtain informed consent for non-emergency treatment may be charged with a civil and/or criminal offense such as a “battery” or an unauthorized touching of the plaintiff’s person.

In order to prevail on a charge that a doctor performed a treatment or procedure without “informed consent,” the patient must usually show that, had the patient known of the risk or outcome allegedly not disclosed, the patient would not have opted for the treatment or procedure and thus avoided the risk. If there will be complications, the burden will be upon the patient to prove that it is the doctor who is at fault.

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