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What is medical negligence and informed consent?

If you're thinking of filing a medical malpractice case, here are a couple things to consider. First, remember that you must file your case before the statute of limitations expires. If you have been hurt in a medical malpractice case, you have two years from the time of the discovered injury or from the time at which you should have discovered your injury to file your lawsuit.

If your medical malpractice case includes a wrongful death, you have up to three years after the injury causing the death or three years following the time when you should have found out the reason for the death. At no time can there be a case more than three years after the person's date of death.

What kinds of cases constitute as medical malpractice? Medical negligence is the main cause, and informed consent violations are another. With a medical negligence case, you have to prove that the health care professional didn't act with the highest standard of care. In other words, if you had seen a different doctor, would you have been treated differently or had the same diagnosis and treatment? If the treatment plan would have been similar or the same, then it's unlikely that you would win the case. However, if another doctor would have provided you with better care according to the standards of the medical community, then you have a case.

Informed consent is essentially when you receive a document or information regarding a surgery or treatment plan. You must be told what will happen before a doctor begins the treatment. Health care professionals have to share their knowledge of the procedure and the risks that it could pose. The doctor has to disclose all risks, benefits, and alternatives and make sure the patient comprehends that information. After that, the patient has to execute a voluntary waiver and consent to treatment. If the patient does not receive this information, the malpractice may have occurred and the patient could sue.

Source: FindLaw, "Your Portland Medical Malpractice Case: The Basics," accessed Nov. 01, 2016

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