We trust our doctors with our lives. And while part of that trust is in their medical expertise, all the technical skill in the world doesn’t mean much if we don’t think our doctors are telling us the truth.
You’ve probably heard of medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors who make mistakes, but what about malpractice claims against doctors who lie to patients? Here’s what you need to know:
A central element to any medical treatment is informed consent, which refers to a patient’s consent to medical treatment after receiving information on the treatment. While the specific requirements of informed consent can vary by state, as a patient you are entitled to:
- A complete diagnosis of your condition;
- The purpose and process of any proposed treatments, as well as possible alternative treatments;
- The benefits and risks of each treatment; and
- The benefits and risk of not getting treatment.
Informed consent is entirely premised on your doctor or medical professional being completely honest and forthcoming regarding your medical condition, treatment choices, risks associated with the treatments, and prognosis. Without accurate information, and all of it, a patient can’t meaningfully consent to any medical treatment.
Medical Malpractice and Standard of Care
Medical malpractice claims don’t only cover errors in diagnosis and treatment. Once you’ve established a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owes you a duty of care and treatment with the degree of skill, care, and diligence as possessed by, or expected of, a reasonably competent physician under the same or similar circumstances. Part of that duty of care is to be forthcoming with your diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis, as reasonably competent physicians would not lie to their patients.
Therefore, lying to a patient could be proof of fault in a medical malpractice claim. And the failure to obtain a patient’s “informed consent” before administering a procedure or treatment is a form of medical negligence, and could even be grounds for a battery lawsuit.
If you think your doctor lied to you, get a second opinion. And if your doctor failed to get informed consent before a procedure or failed to give you all of the relevant information regarding your diagnosis and possible treatment, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
- Have an injury claim? Get your claim reviewed by an attorney for free. (Consumer Injury)
- How Reliable Is Doctor Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases? (FindLaw’s Injured)
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- 7 Ways to Protect Your Rights as a Patient (FindLaw’s Injured)