Any South Carolina resident who has undergone a medical procedure has heard the term “informed consent,” but few know the term’s meaning. As informed consent is required before any type of procedure, it is important for those who have surgeries scheduled to understand the term. In addition, it is also important for those who believe they are victims of medical malpractice to have a full understanding of the term.
The first and most important aspect of informed consent is that it gives medical professionals permission to treat you. Generally, this permission is requested only after a patient has been given the following information; diagnosis of the condition, success probability, type of treatment, prognosis without treatment, risks and alternatives. In fact, the only time a patient can be treated without giving this permission is when the patient cannot communicate, and the situation is an emergency.
In some cases, South Carolina law allows for others to give informed consent permission on a patient’s behalf. Generally, this only occurs when a patient is under age 18 or married, with the patient’s parents or guardian or spouse being given authority, respectively. However, patients who cannot understand the nature of their conditions or make their own decisions concerning their care can be certified as having the “inability to consent” by either two physicians or one physician in an emergency situation.
If you believe that you or someone you love received treatment without the proper informed consent and you or your loved one suffered as a result, you may be able to file a medical malpractice suit in a South Carolina court. Cases involving informed consent are often legally complex. As a result, many find the help of an attorney not only beneficial but also necessary.