• Are You Required to Pay Medical Bills for Procedures to Which You Did Not Consent?

    If you’ve recently had surgery or some other medical procedure, then you’re probably receiving waves of bills from the hospital, your physician, and other assorted services and providers that you never even heard of or knew would be providing care. Reviewing medical bills is unsettling, as the costs are extremely high, and it is especially unnerving to see charges for procedures that you were not aware you would be receiving, and to which you did not consent. If you went to a restaurant and received food that you didn’t order, you wouldn’t pay for it, so why should you pay for procedures you didn’t ask for? More importantly, what happens if you didn’t want the procedure, or if it represented a medical mistake on the part of the practitioner that not only cost you money but also caused you some kind of injury or damage?

    In an urgent situation, you have no real say in what care is provided: the first responders and emergency room staff need to address your needs as quickly as possible and getting your permission may not be possible. But non-urgent situations require what is known as informed consent, which is a legal and ethical obligation on the part of health care providers to make sure that patients have all of the information they need about their condition and its treatment options, the risks involved with each (as well as of doing nothing), and the long-term outlook for their health. In most cases, you as the patient will be asked to sign forms indicating that you have been given all of this information and agree to allow the doctor to provide care, though in some cases informed consent is implied once the information is conveyed.

    So, what happens when you give informed consent, but the physician makes a mistake – or the physician fails to provide the information and the patient is unhappy with the outcome or has suffered harm? In this case, you as the patient may have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the health care provider, seeking compensation for the damages that you’ve suffered. Every case involving a medical mistake is different, and that’s why it’s a good idea to seek guidance from an experienced medical malpractice attorney. To discuss your situation, contact our office today to set up a free consultation.

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