Patients in New Mexico and throughout the country are entitled to have all the information necessary to make informed decisions about their medical treatment. Medical professionals are required to discuss alternate treatment options as well as the risks and possible prognosis after going through with a specific course of action. This information must be presented in a manner that is both detailed and easy to understand.
A patient must be deemed competent in order to give informed consent. Most adults are considered to be competent unless they suffer from a mental illness. However, children are generally not considered competent, which means that a parent or guardian must be the one to give consent. Doctors must get informed consent before embarking on any procedure that is not deemed to be an emergency for which consent may not be obtained.
To prove that a doctor went through with a procedure despite a lack of consent, a patient must show that a doctor failed to disclose all the risks of that procedure. It may also be necessary to show that a patient wouldn’t have agreed to a procedure if he or she had known the risks associated with it. Finally, patients must generally show that they suffered harm because of the unauthorized procedure.
Those who are the victim of doctor negligence may be entitled to compensation for their injuries through a jury award or a negotiated settlement. Compensation may help to pay for medical bills, recoup lost wages or make up for lost earnings related to an injury. To prove negligence related to lack of informed consent, an attorney may show that a doctor failed to disclose all risks or failed to offer an alternative to a planned procedure.