Gray Areas of Informed Consent


Medical professionals are required to make sure patients are fully informed about a procedure in order to consent to it. In the United States, failure to obtain informed consent prior to performing a medical procedure is considered negligence. However, if you think back to the last time you had a shot or had your blood drawn, you probably did not provide explicit consent to the procedures. For a broad range of procedures, the patient gives his implied consent and the doctor assumes that the patient understands the risks and benefits of the procedure. In certain cases, this assumption can make a doctor liable for malpractice.

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