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Why does informed consent matter?

What if a doctor in Indiana operates on you or provides you with care, but, through sloppy work or negligence, you end up being injured? Worse yet, what if you never gave the doctor your consent to go ahead with the treatment in the first place?

If this happens to you, it could mean you've been a victim of medical malpractice. You need to know about all of your legal options, as you may be able to seek compensation for any injuries and other costs.

Informed consent is so important because you still have a right to decide what is going to happen to your body, and no one can take that away from you. No matter what the doctor believes, he or she can't force you to submit to a procedure that you're not interested in having used. The doctor has to allow you to make this choice for yourself.

Additionally, the doctor has to tell you all about the procedure, not just the benefits. What are the risks? What other options do you have? What does the procedure entail, and what have other patients experienced when it's been done to them? Is it the best option or the most common? You can ask any questions you want, and the doctor is obligated to give you a lot of this information even if you don't ask, just to make sure you know what you're agreeing to before you give your consent.

Doctors are typically very good at doing this and getting all of the paperwork in order, but not always. Know what your rights are, and don't let a doctor tell you that he or she gets to make the decision for you.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases," accessed June 04, 2015

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