When a doctor recommends a treatment to a patient, they must not only inform the patient of its benefits but also of any potential complications or side effects that may arise. Additionally, the doctor must advise the patient of other treatment options that are available. If a physician fails to do so and a patient subsequently suffers harm, the patient may be able to establish liability for lack of informed consent. If the plaintiff fails to introduce evidence establishing a material factual issue as to whether the defendant obtained valid consent prior to treating the plaintiff, however, the plaintiff’s lack of informed consent claims may be dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued in a New York cardiology malpractice case. If you sustained losses due to your heart doctor’s carelessness, it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse cardiology malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.
The Facts of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated with the defendant cardiologist for heart issues. The defendant recommended that the plaintiff undergo surgical repair of his mitral valve and an aortic aneurysm. The plaintiff suffered complications following the surgery and filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Among other things, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to obtain his informed consent prior to operating on his heart. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, and the court granted his motion. The plaintiff then appealed.
Elements of a Lack of Informed Consent Claim
On appeal, the appellate court explained that the defendant made a prima facie showing of informed consent via medical records and testimony that demonstrated that he advised the plaintiff of the relatively foreseeable risks associated with the treatment, and the plaintiff signed two different consent forms acknowledging his understanding of those risks. Continue reading