For most of the 20th Century and well into the current Century, Powell Law has held medical professionals accountable for their medical errors as it has litigated and settled countless medical malpractice cases. Powell Law lawyers have vast experience representing those affected by medical negligence. James F. Mundy, Esq. has nearly five decades of experience in legal matters involving medical errors and defective medical devices.
Pennsylvania law mandates that every competent adult has the legal right to make decisions that affect his/her body. Patients in Pennsylvania have the right to make their own medical decisions. Patients may have a claim if a medical professional does not adequately inform them of the risks, consequences, and alternatives of some treatment or procedure.
The communication of certain knowledge and information allows patients to consider the associated benefits and risks. Therefore, patients may give consent that is informed prior to receiving any medical care, treatment, or surgery.
The duty of informed consent requires a physician to advise the patient of those material facts, risks, complications, and alternatives to surgery that a reasonable person in the patient’s situation would consider significant in deciding whether to have the operation. Montgomery v. Bazaz-Shegal, 568 Pa. 574, 584-86; 798 A.2d 742, 749-50 (2002).
If a medical provider fails to obtain a patient’s informed consent and causes injury, the patient may have an actionable claim for medical malpractice. Lack of informed consent is a recognizable cause of action in Pennsylvania.
Technically, it is a battery or unauthorized touching of a patient by a healthcare professional. Unless authorized, any touching or contact is technically considered a battery and a court may award damages even if no physical harm occurred.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly introduced a bill on June 12, 2019, apparently as a response to the 2017 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in Shinal v. Toms. The Bill, SB 761, addresses whether a physician may delegate the act of obtaining a patient’s informed consent to a qualified assistant. Stay tuned for more about SB 761 in a future blog.
If you believe that a medical professional has failed to obtain your informed consent, Powell Law’s attorneys have the necessary expertise and experience to evaluate whether you have a potential medical malpractice claim. At Powell Law, it is our goal to protect and assert our clients’ rights effectively. If you have suffered any type of injury, consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Powell Law has an established 113-year-old reputation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE, and you don’t pay unless we win!